What We Do

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We are chasers of trophy fish (Leviathans if you will). We devote as much time as we can to the thrill of the hunt, the success, and the failure of fishing the waters of Northern Minnesota. We are stewards of the land and water. Conservation is a top priority to us because the future of tomorrow is what we decide today. Catch-Photo-Release is practiced along with selective harvest.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Waiting on Ellen

It will be February 5th tomorrow. Baby Ellen's due date!!  She isn't here yet and Steph and I go into the doctor tomorrow and discuss our options. In the meantime, I have been sticking close to home. Literally 1 block from the apartment. I have been out fishing with good friend, Tony Klaers, in his permanent fish house. He is set up in 19ft of water and is doing ok out there. Lots of perch, tullibees, and walleyes. No giants yet but, good consistent fun!

I'm really starting to get into tullibee fishing! I went out one afternoon with Matt Breuer (North Country Guide Service) for a tulliee clinic. What a BLAST!!! We didn't get massive numbers of fish but, we ice 8 total in a couple of hours. Fishing over 50ft of water and fish marking anywhere from 42ft down to 12ft below the ice and getting them to chase was a new experience for me!

Once my daughter is here and settled I will able to get back other some more. We are fast approaching burbot peak and that is when this get super fun! Late nights and big fish! Stay tuned for that! I love late Feb/early March. We have burbot on the prowl and the panfish really start turning on!

Thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment! Patrick

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Where has Patrick gone??

Hello readers!
   Yup. I have not been very active on here but, I have been very active in life, and on the ice. So let me get you all up to speed. Lets get started!

   It's late October / early November and I just received news from Frabill that they want to work with me this winter. Living, breathing in my passion has paid off! Frabill is a wonderful company with top quality products. This winter I have upgraded my portable shelter from a 1-man Commando, to a 2-man Trekker DLX Thermal, flip over style shelter. What a great shack to have! The thermal insulated cover does had extra weight but, it is completely worth it. Being that the fabric is thicker, due to insulation, it dampers any wind that is blowing. Wanna talk about warmth? It does not take much to heat this house at all. When it's all said and done, I would not trade this portable in for all the diamonds in the world!

Crappie fishing in the pouring rain and sleet...Total warmth!

Let us slide into December. Busy, busy month. Not only was I looking to get on the ice, I was looking at graduating from college. I did not want to let things slide academically. I remained focused on the getting things finished up with classes, projects, and presentations. December 6th came, I conquered. As a matter of fact the picture above is from December 15th. A graduation present to myself!

Here we are now, late January. I haven't been out much. Did a little more crappie fishing, chased some bluegills with some friends from North Country Guide Service (great time there! 3 up on a snowmobile!) and last but not least, I found a gem of a lake! When I say gem, I mean diamond! Sometimes being bored on the computer hunting down new water, scanning endlessly over creel censuses, can pay off. I'm not going to describe anything about this lake other than it is nestled deep in the woods, off the beaten path and has some reall monster bluegills in it. Here is the tally for that day...

What was out of one hole. That's right! ONE HOLE! The reason I fished just one hole was my left knee was killing me. It was a hike out to this lake and to the spot I wanted to fish and, with a bum knee this was it. I don't know if I would have done any better if I was hole hopping or not. If you look at fish number 3 and 8, both 10-3/4"!!! Incredible!! All these fish were caught in 25.5 FOW using a Frabill 7" Quick Tip Straightline 101 combo, 3lb Berkley MicroIce Trilene, and a Bro Bug from Northland Tackle tipped with waxworms. This lake is what Chasing Leviathans is all about!

So, I have come to the end of my update. It's January 29th. The due date for the little one is fast approaching! Steph and I couldn't be more excited! As far as fishing plans goes, I will be sticking very close to home in case the call comes in, that Steph is in labor! After Ellen (our little girl) is born and we get things settled, I will be out drilling holes and chasing leviathans!!!!!
Keep at it. through thick and thin! The big ones are out there! 



Saturday, December 29, 2012

December's Flurries

Happy Holidays !!
  With Christmas 2012 come and gone , hope you all have something to be thankful for.
  I personally had a wonderful Holiday Season, and have been fortunate enough to hit the hardwater quite often. The fishing has been very good up in the "Great North" of Minnesota.

 The crappies have been very aggressive as of late and seem to be en grained in there deep water patterns.The key to cashing in seems to be drilling alot of holes and covering a large area of a main lake basin, then go through each hole with your depth finder to locate the fish. I have had very good results with both vertical and horizontal presentations.

 Let me explain that statement, vertical being small jigs tipped with small plastics that on rest lay on a vertical plane and horizontal being small jigging spoons tipped with plastics riding horizontally.Rigging a rod with one of each will usually let you know what the panfish have a preference for.

 I have the privilege of having a friend that provides a guiding service on Red Lake about an hour north of us called Bearpaw Guide Service. Steve and Tyler Brasel are the proprietors of this business and I have known Steve for some 30 + years. Anyhow, I have been lucky enough to chase walleyes on the popular Red Lake a number of times this year with very good results. The walleyes have been hitting small spoons tipped with a minnow head  or dead-sticking with a plain hook and minnow combination.Currently, they are fishing 3-4 miles out from the east shore in 11 - 12 FOW. Another thing that has been working is the small vertical jigging baits such as a Salmo Chubby Darter.It has been my experience (up there) that these baits seem to produce better on the evening bite, again the smaller sizes being better.If you have the urge to fish Red and need a house rental or guide give Bearpaw a call, you won't be disappointed.

 I have been looking up  alot of test netting reports this last week or so and have been gathering lakes to explore for big gills. This means an exploration trip to virgin ( to me ) waters is coming up very soon. I always enjoy the challenge of new waters, sometimes the thrill of the chase is as much fun as the catch. I'll keep you posted on the explorations.

              Have a great New Year and make more fishing trips a resolution of yours!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Big Show

This weekend we (Patrick and I ) had the opportunity to attend the 20th Annual St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show  at the River Centre in St. Paul.The experience was incredible, to say the least. Thousands of us die-hard ice fisherman ( and women)  converged on the River Centre to take in all of the latest  products, services , and cutting edge techniques we all are looking to learn to better our catch rates. Powered by hundreds of vendors, all the names in ice fishing you see on TV or read about in magazines were there, and all willing to talk fishing.
 This was a golden opportunity for learning little tips and tricks of the "pros". I always say if you listen more than you talk you will come away with something learned, and I didn't have alot to say.
If hanging around the pros in the fishing world isn't your thing, all the "sparklies" ( new products) would've started your heart racing. I personally purchased a new auger for the up-coming ice season, so I was hanging around listening to the improvements in the auger world.
 One thing I noticed was all the manufacturers have come out with improvements in their respective brands, and we the fishermen and women all benefit by these improvements.This was not limited to augers by no means as fish houses, depthfinders, rods, reels, lines, floats and even the baits have had dramatic changes.
If you have the opportunity to attend this ice fishing gala, I strongly urge you to go.The "Big Show" was an incredible experience in more ways than one, all those on-line friends I chat with but have never met seem to migrate to this event as well. Just a great experience.
 Now, getting into the actual fishing aspect, we here in Northern Minnesota are kind of in between seasons.There is good ice on Upper Red Lake and the walleyes seem to be willing, but other area lakes are pretty sketchy due to the warm weather. Please use EXTREME caution when heading out on the ice thus far, Patrick and I would prefer to read about you in the " Big Fish" column rather than the front page under daring ice rescues! Common sense and a strong knowledge of the lake your fishing is crucial before you venture out. A buddy system is my preferred method for heading out on the lakes during early ice, just in case.
                                             Be safe and get out there and enjoy!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fall Float Tubing!!!

   Saturday, Septmeber 1:
      Float tubing in the fall, LOVE IT! The sad part is, this was the first time I had my float tube out all open water season!
      The mission was to get back on some panfish. The mission was complished! Having fished this lake many, many, many times, I knew exactly were to start my quest. Deep water was the destination. When I say deep water, I mean 25-40 feet deep. That is exactly where I started my deep jigging dance. Lure selection of choice were small crappie and bluegill soft plastic baits by Micro Spoon and Jigs. I ran a 1.75 STB grub on a 1/16oz round ball jighead as well as Munchies withe eyes on the same jighead. I chose the bigger 1/16oz size because of the depth I was fishing at. i wanted the bait to get there as fast as possible.
      The rods of choice were both designed for icefishing. This method of using ice rods for open water fishing has proven itself before. It is a perfect set up for verticle jigging, like I was doing today! The reels were both fly reels spooled with 20lb braided fly line backing and then joined by using a blood knot, with 3 lb Ice Line From Berkley. I get excellent feel for what the jig is doing and these rods pick up and transmit the lightest bites. Deadly, simply DEADLY!

   All fish were released. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Water...Going in BLIND!!!

   Today was a day for trying new water! I had received a tip earlier this spring about this lake so, we were game to give it a shot! This new body of water, that shall remain nameless, of course, has no information on it what so ever. There are no lake maps, water clarity, weed grow, history...nothing! ZERO. ZIP. NADA!
   The day started with my ignition switch not working so, Shawn had to drive. Off to a great start, right? Well, we arrive at the landing and the fun begins. This "public access", if you want to call it that, is washed out and, is basically a steep drop from the bank to the water's edge. Looking very sketchy! Getting the boat in isn't that big of a problem. It's getting her out that is! After some debate, the decision is made to go for it.
   We are on the water. No issues but, we want to be off this lake before darkness can wrap us in her swaddling arms. Man, there is cabbage weeds everywhere is this lake! Smiles all across the board! We found an inside turn on a break line of cabbage. Let the casting commence! I decided that I was going to go with live bait and Shawn wanted to pitch Micro Spoon & Jigs Luv Nubs. We always switch it up when fishing new waters. It's a good way to find fish fast. With Shawn working plastics and myself, a slip float, jig and crawler chunk, we are both hitting fish. Small bluegills, small bass, and a few decent perch. This was the theme all over this lake, every single spot! We did manage 2 nice bluegills, 8" fish.
    One last ditch effort was conceived before it was time to get off the lake. Lets have a look for some deep water. We are both in ice fishing info gathering mode now. Shawn with a watchful eye on his Hummingbird found 20, almost 21 feet of water and some fish! It's Northland Buckshot Rattle spoon time! We tipped the Buckshots with Luv Nubs and started vertical jigging over the fish he located. Bam! 12.5" perch! I follow up with a strong 11" perch! Both fish released and this spot now resides in both our handheld gps units! Darkness is closing fast and its time to go. That damn landing will be put into submission. Yeah, we made it out. No problem. Still nerve racking though.

OH YEAH! Tested the new GoPro Hero2 in the alley since we didn't get any fish worthy of filming! LOL! Two monkeys in the zoo!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A little "plastic practice"

Hey all,
 Another week has gone by and we have been looking forward to another visit .
 As I had mentioned in my last post, Patrick and I were going to act on the dreaded "hot tip " for local crappies and bluegills.What I had not mentioned is that also last week Patrick and I have joined forces with a fantastic company, Micro Jigs and Spoons .com.
 This will NOT be a shameless plug for the company, as I wouldn't use or vouch for something I don't believe in, I'll save that for those snake-oil salesman out there.
 BUT, I did have the opportunity to actually use them as they (Keith Pace, owner) had sent us a plethora of plastics (when is the last time somebody used the word "plethora" in a fishing blog?).These baits were the only baits in my boat so I had to get to learn them or die trying.Here's how it went on a day by day rewind ......
 DAY 1-As per my usual , I trolled near weedbeds and points until I came in contact  with my first fish, a 12 inch crappie. Now I'm excited, 5 minutes in and I'm on fish.Anchor down, I fan cast my point working this 1/8 oz. jig and STB grub with a variety of drops, retrieves and pauses, no more fish.
 Deciding to down-size my jig (1/32 oz) and plastic(1 inch Luv-Nub) to slow down the drop rate, my 3rd cast, a great 13 incher.
 AH HA!! now we're dialed in, 45 minutes later and no more fish.
 I decided to up-size again going heavier and larger and let the jig fall deep into the weeds, only to find another crappie waiting on me!!Long story short the fish had moved deeper into the weeds as the sun came up and I proceeded to catch another 12-15 crappies.
 DAY 2-Now that I have the previous days knowledge with me I can just go and hammer the fish, right?Wrong! Fished same area as previous day and nothing doing .I'm off to troll again.
 Finding a mid lake hump with plenty of weeds,  I started circling it and a solid 9-9 1/2 inch "gill".Anchor down, fan cast , nothing.Change color and down-size ,boom another gill!!Next 4 casts...crappies!!
 Again a little adjustment to the drop rate of the bait and location change produced numbers.
 Tally for the day, 15+ crappies and 6-8 gills in roughly 2 hours.
Day 3 and 4- As I had mentioned earlier, Patrick were going to investigate a" hot tip".We met up with  buddy of ours south of home and we all jumped in his boat. As we got to the "spot on the spot" he had mentioned he was using crawlers and leeches only, and catching some big gills and a few crappies.
 We anchor down in 12 ft of water and our buddy drops down with  a jig and leech, and in 2 seconds.."there's one"!! This sequence repeats itself quite often and Patrick and I are slow out of the gates with our plastics, being outfished 5 to 1 conservatively.But instead of being frustrated, it forced us to keep changing colors, body styles and shapes. you see, with our friend still catching fish, we knew they were down there and active so we had to keep changing.About 45 minutes in, Patrick started catching fish,a gill, then a crappie, then a gill, then a crappie.I was staring to get more fish too, as time went on, Patrick was using a little larger plastic than I, and he was into a few more crappies, where I was using small plastics and turning on the gills. After it was all said and done plastics were outfished overall, but made a huge comeback once we got dialed in on what they wanted.Roughly 60+ fish were caught that night with 15 ish crappies and the rest gills.(Oh, and Patricks fave..1Bullhead)
 The next day we all used larger plastics and boated another 10 ish crappies and 20+ gills before the weather drove us off.
The photo above shows some of the hot plastics we used this week by Micro-Spoons and Jigs.The 2 on top produced mostly crappies(roughly 2 1/2 in ches long), the next 2 closer to the middle produced a nice mix of crappies and gills ( about 1 3/4 inches long),and the bottom 3 produced a majority of the gills( 1-2 inches long).In the past week  these baits produced ALOT of panfish..Check them out and tell em Shawn sent ya, Good Luck on the water!!!