Beretta USA - 500 Years. One Passion.

Save on Knives

Click on a banner for great buys from great companies.

Pam & I in Alberta harvesting a moose.

Pam and I harvesting an Idaho Elk

Set yourself up for success on the water with theew's® Mach® Crush Spinning Rod and Reel Combo.The Mach Crush Spinning Reel features an 11-bearing system with double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings for smooth performance

Some rods and reels are just made for each other, with the Shimano Symetre Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, you’ll find just that! High-performance and versatility, this combo can resonate with anglers of all styles! The rod features a high-quality graphite blank and stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide.

Gearing up with a strong-performing, fun-to-use spinning combo for trout and salmon fishing doesn't mean getting spendy. Our Bass Pro Shops Borealis Rod and Reel Spinning Combo is the perfect example of the high performance, high value concept

Too many anglers come unprepared for their big chance. With the Ugly Stik® Bigwater Spinning Combo, you'll be ready for your shot at glory at all times. This is famous Ugly Stik toughness and dependability for the trophy environment.

Fish the sleek, perfectly matched system of your choice with our Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 Spinning Combo. Enjoy the smooth performance of one of our most popular reels, plus the silky feel of a premium rod.

Shorts and Sun

Wow, what a change in just a short period of time.  The wind came up and blew out of the southwest and the lake rocked and rolled.  This is great walleye water, but there was no cloud cover and old sol put the burn on us.

Pam did not want to get out in the wind and sun.  It was not so much the wind as the sun was really bright and high even though we were on the lake by 7:30.  The temp when I got up was hitting 75, and scheduled to move into the 90s by noon.  We started it right off picking up fish using a jig and a minnow.  That is the good news, but the fish we caught were all shorts.  A short is less than 15 inches and all we were catching were the shorties.  They were acting a little more hungry this morning.  Hopes were high.

We had started the same location as the day before but the fish were of no size.  It was beyond the term as a shorty.  Some of these fish would have made great bait.  At least they hit hard and rather than calmly tightening the line and wait for a little wiggle before hook setting.

Let your electronics be your guide was once told to me by an old walleye fisherman and we had all that you could get.  All that was left was to throw out the depth charges.  South Dakota does not allow fishing with TNT. 

We moved to another location.  It looked like we were going to hunt the walleye rather than fish for them.  At a new location, we got nothing and moved again.  What is interesting we continually graphed fish in the lower depth.  We were fishing in a range of 20 to 25 feet in depth. 

Continue reading

Thieves and Tasters

This where it begins.  Off the point straight ahead and to the left is a line of rocks reaching out into the main body of the lake.  What is the one thing that walleye fishermen do not like?  The lake is calm, and we like ripple.

 

Today we fished an area we had never been to.  South of Platte is a bay off the main body of the lake surrounded by points and smaller bays with a lot of rock surrounding the lake.  On the edge of the main body is a point of rock pointing onto the main lake.  This is where the slaughter took place.  The day before the guide took his two grandsons to this area and was limited out in less than three hours.

The boat ramps and parking facilities in South Dakota are excellent.  The state really does a nice job of providing good access to the lakes.  They also maintain one of those no flush toilets near the parking ramp.

We headed out of the bay to a point that stuck out into the main body of the lake.  Beautiful day is not a good walleye day and I would rather have clouds, some wind, and even a little rain.  What amazed Pam and I were the size of the boats.  They were all expensive, big, and had a lot of horsepower for the main motor plus a kicker on the back.  Fancy electric trolling motors on the front and everyone we saw was well stacked with electronics to locate fish and structures.  Our guide’s boat was one of those.  You still have to find and catch them.

Continue reading

Wind And The Walleyes

The second day on Frances Case  was a bit breezy.  Pam nailed the first fish a white bass that had the nerve to put up a struggle.  It was promptly returned to the lake, but she had a good time.

Coming off the ramp we met a fisherman coming back in and it was only 8 AM.  Our guide was friends with the fisherman and the people in the boat  and he hollered, “A fisherman’s luck is a wet butt and a hungry gut.”  Obviously their luck was poor.

Wind was a bit of a problem and boat control got really  difficult.  Even with the equipment the guide has, fishing was tough.  We were still using lead core line with the two outer rods that were teamed with the planer boards.  We fished under the bridge down the lake to a location that held trees standing in 50 feet of water.  Right above the trees 30 feet deep was where the fish were hanging out. 

Continue reading

 

This where it begins.  Off the point straight ahead and to the left is a line of rocks reaching out into the main body of the lake.  What is the one thing that walleye fishermen do not like?  The lake is calm, and we like ripple.   Today we fished an area we had never been to.  South of Platte is a bay off the main body of the lake surrounded by points and smaller bays with a lot of rock surrounding the lake.  On the edge of the main body is a point of rock pointing onto the main lake.  This is where the slaughter took place.  The day before the guide took his two grandsons to this area and was limited out in less than three hours. The boat ramps and parking facilities in South Dakota are excellent.  The state really does a nice job of providing good access to the lakes.  They also maintain one of those no flush toilets near the parking ramp. We headed out of the bay to a point that stuck out into the main body of the lake.  Beautiful day is not a good walleye day and I would rather have clouds, some wind, and even a little rain.  What amazed Pam and I were the size of the boats.  They were all expensive, big, and had a lot of horsepower for the main motor plus a kicker on the back.  Fancy electric trolling motors on the front and everyone we saw was well stacked with electronics to locate fish and structures.  Our guide's boat was one of those.  You still have to find and catch them. Looking of Pam's shoulder this does not look good, but the day before the guide and his grandson had cleaned up on the fish and left the lake after a couple of hours.  There is nothing better than fast fishing when you finally get on top of them. Almost to the point we dropped down and started to fish.  In this case we were not pulling plugs or spinners, but jigging off the bottom. of the lake. Depth was about 25 feet.  A colored jig head, preferably chartreuse, and a minnow was the tools we were using.  When we started seeing some action, the fish did not smack the bait and seemed to mouth it.  This took a lot patience.  Also, I have always believed the fish hit the lure as it drops down while jigging the bait, and as you lift up the rod you feel weight and the line goes tight.  We learned quickly do not set the hook, but just hold the rod upwards and keep the line tight.  Then give that giant fish a little time.  (They all feel like you have a giant initially.)  We kept the line tight, then added more pressure until the fish started to act up and the hook was set. We kept losing fish over and over until we started using this method. The important thing was we made a lot of errors trying to set a hook the second we felt the fish.  This where an experienced guide comes in as he immediately diagnosed what was going on and changed our method of landing fish. Was fishing slow at this location?  The answer to this was yes and no.  It sure wasn't fast, but we always seemed to be getting excited, tightening the line, lifting the rod slowly and then finding a fish had been there and made off with the minnow.  I think fishing with a jig takes more patience because you are always testing the equipment to see if something is pulling against the line.  Decades ago I fished with a hard core walleye fisherman who always complained about his hands and he said they were like iron and he did not feel the line like his wife.  The guide said his wife had better feeling in her hands as to when a fish was on the line mouthing the lure and minnow.  We both noticed Pam's patience as she just held the rod, lifted up the rod tip slowly and felt the line to see if a visitor was sampling the wares on the other end. Pam caught the most fish that day. This is a good size walleye for Francis Case and most of the fish we kept were were in the 16 to 17 inch range.  Not big, but they filet out well and are excellent dinning. It took up till noon but we limited out and got off the lake as it was heating up.  The lodge was filled up with fishermen that brought their own boats and did not use a guide.  So at the recommendation of the lodge owner was two choices, the Dakota Inn or
The second day on Frances Case  was a bit breezy.  Pam nailed the first fish a white bass that had the nerve to put up a struggle.  It was promptly returned to the lake, but she had a good time. Coming off the ramp we met a fisherman coming back in and it was only 8 AM.  Our guide was friends with the fisherman and the people in the boat  and he hollered, "A fisherman's luck is a wet butt and a hungry gut."  Obviously their luck was poor. Wind was a bit of a problem and boat control got really  difficult.  Even with the equipment the guide has, fishing was tough.  We were still using lead core line with the two outer rods that were teamed with the planer boards.  We fished under the bridge down the lake to a location that held trees standing in 50 feet of water.  Right above the trees 30 feet deep was where the fish were hanging out.  We started working just north of the bridge and then motored south into the wind.  It was rough and the picture does not do the swells justice. We were working those six rods with two over the back and two out each side.  The far outside was using a planer board.  The trees that we fished over are about twenty feet above the bottom and the tops are thirty feet above the bottom.  The goal is to keep the plugs just above the tree tops.  The fish are lying in that zone to about five feet above.  The wind continued to pick up and it would spit a little rain.  The weather forecast was way off and we had brought our rain suits.  Pam put on her rain jacket and pulled up the hood on both her jackets.  As long as she is warm and comfortable, all is well.  If she gets cold and wet the day is done.  It is important that she is along, because, when Pam is catching fish, the guide and I catch fish. Pam in Nepal with two Holy Men.  For ten bucks they will give you perpetual good luck and good health.  I think it is working because whether I am hunting or fishing, she is along and the good luck is with me. We motored down underneath the bridge and went about two miles.  The guide's boat was on auto pilot and it followed the old river bank fifty below us.  Generally it is total hands off fishing, but with the wind the guide was earning his money managing the boat.  We were not getting strike one but graphing fish.  The problem with the fish finders is they locate fish without telling you what is it.  (How is that for baloney) We turned and headed north with the wind. Boat control was much better with the wind.  All we did was graph fish with no strikes.  Halfway to the bridge Pam's side rod bent over and she started cranking in a fish.  It was a nice catch about 17" which is a good fish for Francis Case.  What was interesting the fish did not hit it, but as she noticed, the rod just bent over.  Giving it a few seconds she tightened up the line and reeled slowly.  Close to the boat we could see it and the fish was netted.  This lifted our spirits and we continued on to the bridge. We are moving with the wind, and it is more pleasant, but we are not catching a thing and the waves are getting bigger. Rod with a planer board.  We used lead core line.  Just look straight up from the bottom of the picture and you can see the planer board. We got to the bridge and the guide said, "We are out of here.  Only one fish and they are just not biting at this location."  The plan was to motor up the lake ten miles or so, get out of the wind, and work a location he knew of that held fish on the flats about 50 feet from shore.  Sounds good to me. Up north we swung into a bend in the river and were out of the wind.  The water held just a light ripple.  We put out the six rods with a planer board on each side, another rod one each side and two over the back.  This is fishing with all this ammunition out and we should should have some good luck. This is one of my favorite spots on Frances Case and we started to graph fish.  We started picking up fish in the 15 to 17 inch range.  A few 14 inchers were promptly returned to get bigger, and in an hour we were done and had limited
  This is one day last year, and this is the goal for the first day of this year. How sweet it is. Fisherman's Prayer Lord help me to catch a fish so large that even I in the tell of it never need to lie… Lake Francis Case is the large, gently winding reservoir behind Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River in south-central South Dakota. The Fort Randall Dam is the earth embankment dam forming Lake Francis Case in south-central South Dakota. The dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944. The Corps of Engineers began construction of Fort Randall Dam in 1946. President Dwight D. Eisenhower threw the switch that started the first power generating unit in 1954. The entire project was completed in 1956 with a maximum depth of 140 feet. Lake Francis Case covers just over 100 miles and has a shoreline of 540 miles. I have quit counting the number of times we have fished this reservoir.  The goal is walleye and while not big, they are in abundance with sizes in the 16 to 17 inch range.  That size of fish produces an excellent fillet, and meat is what it is ultimately all about. Five years ago Pam and I were in Nepal and this Holy Man blessed me and said I would have good luck for the next 10 years.  It cost me 5 bucks, but fishing and hunting have been great and I never caught the Covid, but I have never won a lottery.  The first week of June Pam and I headed up to Platte S.D. to stay at Platte Creek Lodge and meet up with our favorite guide.  This is outstanding gentleman fishing, as the guide supplies all the equipment, a boat packed with electronics, and the knowledge of a lifetime of fishing the reservoir.  Plus he fillets all the fish and the fillets are vacuum sealed. We met up at 7:00 AM and headed to the lake.  Rain was in the forecast with heavy showers in the afternoon.  After putting in, we headed south a couple of miles and were in 50 feet of water.  The graph was showing trees that stood up about 20 feet and right above the trees were fish, lots of fish. Now, the graph does not tell you what kind of fish, but maybe someday that will happen.   In South Dakota you can fish two rods per person. We put out six lines using a planer board on each side, another line along side of the boat and a line over the back on each side.  The guide knew exactly how much line to let out and added a weight to the two inside lines.  I do not care for planer boards.  When you get a fish on you have to bring in the side line to avoid tangles.  The guide used lead core line and we let out a lot.  Hauling it in was a chore.  Once the planer board comes to the side of the boat, the guide removes it from the line.  Then you have to make sure your line is tight or you lose the fish.  Pam and I both lost a lot of fish with the planer boards.  Fortunately, the majority were caught with the side rod and reel and the lines out the back.  The bait of choice was the Berkley Flicker Shad.  I have caught more fish with this lure than any thing I have ever fished with.  A Berkley Limited Edition Flicker Shad Jointed Crankbait turns on walleye with its chrome color available for a short time only! The chrome edition delivers the same jointed Berkley Flicker Shad exaggerated side flash and roll. The jointed tail sends extra shiny sparkle to grab the attention of walleyes in your trolling area. It started off quickly.  Bang!  We would hit a fish and sometime we had multiple lines in action.  What is interesting to catch a keeper you go through a lot of shorts.  A short is a fish under the minimum which is 15 inches.  All the keepers we landed were in the 16 to 17 inch range with a couple close to 18 inches.  Over the years of fishing this reservoir we have always caught a lot of shorts and this is a good sign of fertility in the lake as the shorts get big.  Some of the shorts were so small it looked they still had milk on their lips.  (A little humor.  We all know fish do not nurse.) We were two short of our total limit, and it just shut down.  The wind came up and shifted from a northerly direction to the south.  On that big reservoir when it gets really windy, it rocks and rolls and fishing