Monthly Archives: July 2009

Outdoor Magazine Radio (weekend of 8/1)

This week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show we kick off the month of August with lots of great conversation about hunting and fishing in Michigan and beyond.

First, I describe my latest walleye outing on Saginaw Bay. You can read more about that here.

Then RJ Meyer of the Trophy Room Taxidermy shop joins me. RJ is a professional, full time taxidermist….and he does all of my work. RJ gives us some tips on what to do with those trophy king salmon anglers are chasing on the Great Lakes right now.

Tom Campbell of Woods-n-Waternews joins me to wrap up the hour. Tom tells us about the DNR’s new Pure Michigan hunt.

We turn our attention to salmon in the second hour of this weeks show. Paul Schlafley of Riverside Charters in Manistee gives us a Lake Michigan fishing report. He also shared some proven salmon catching techniques.

Next, it’s Mark Romanack of Fishing 411 and Precision Angling. Mark talked about his upcoming trip to Ontario for pike and walleye….and gave us some tips on preparing for a Canadian adventure.

Jack Doyle of Emergency North kicks off the final hour of the show. Jack started the company to teach hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts about emergency first aid. He says that knowledge can save a life…especially in remote areas.

We wrap up the show with wild game chef Dixie Dave Minar. Dave has a unique recipe this time….it’s snapping turtle stew.

Lots of great outdoor news and information this week on Outdoor Magazine Radio. I hope you enjoy the show….

The Ultimate Great Lakes Trolling Boat

You’ve heard me talk a lot about my Starcraft Islander on the Outdoor Magazine radio show, so I figured it was time to show you what she looks like.

My Islander

My Islander

The boat is a 221OB. It’s 24’6″ inches from the tip of the bow to the back of the motor bracket. She’s eight feet wide.

View from the bow

View from the bow

It’s powered by two Mercury Outboards, a 150 hp and a 9.9 kicker motor. With those I get a top speed of more than 40mph and can troll almost dead slow for finicky walleye.

Motors and bracket

Motors and bracket

The motors are on a bracket off the transom. That extension gives it the feel of a bigger boat, and by running outboards instead of an I/O there’s, lots of fishing room in the cockpit.

Another view

Another view

One of the things I like best about this Starcraft is the canvas. On many similar size boats I have to duck to get under the top, but on the Islander there’s plenty of headroom for even the tallest guys.

Ready for the water

Ready for the water

To me the Islander is the perfect trolling boat. It’s nice enough to be comfortable, but it’s not so fancy you worry about getting it dirty.

The helm

The helm

I like everything about my Islander, but what I really enjoy is where she takes me and the memories this boat helps my family create.

Trent's Walleye

Trent's Walleye


She Threw Me a Bone

I was able to get out on Saginaw Bay walleye fishing after all. We caught a two man limit in just over an hour. Trolled 3/8 oz Rattle Tots in 6-8 feet of water at 2.1-3mph. Fished in my favorite, and most productive spot this summer…east of the Saginaw River.

The wind was blowing from the WSW pretty hard, but it was the perfect direction for a great downhill troll.

You can’t beat Mother Nature, but you can learn to work with her…..

A nice two man Saginaw Bay walleye limit

A nice two man Saginaw Bay walleye limit


She Always Wins

They say you can’t fight Mother Nature, and nowhere is that more true than on the Great Lakes.

The last three times I’ve tried to get out on Saginaw Bay, high winds have kept me on shore. All the lakes are susceptible to wind, but the Bay is quite shallow and kicks up even faster than most.

You can fish in a three foot chop, tournament anglers do it all the time…but it’s just not fun.

We’ve had a lot of wind and cool weather this summer. There was a week back in June when we made it out every day, but since then the Bay has been unfishable at at least a couple days each week.

I have a feeling my fishing days on Saginaw Bay are rapidly coming to an end. The walleye fishery usually slows down this time of year anyway….and soon my time will be occupied with hunting.

Let’s just hope the wind doesn’t blow too hard to keep me out of a treestand….


Latest Bowhunting Ohio trailcam pics

Here they are….the latest trailcam pics from Bill Pylies of Ohio Bowhunting Outfitters.

I hope these guys are still around in late October when I’ll be hunting with Bill.

You've got my attention

You've got my attention

Yep. I'm liking this a lot

Yep. I'm liking this a lot

Daytime....even better

Daytime....even better

Outdoor Magazine TV (week of 7/27)

The theme is fishing this week on the Outdoor Magazine show.

First I’m on Michigan’s Big Manistee river with Tim Roller of Ultimate Outfitters and we’re after springtime steelhead. Tim shows me how to use a couple of popular techniques, including bottom bouncing with a three way rig and drifting a bobber.

Then we head to Lake Erie after walleye. We’re fishing with Jim Barta of the Hunter Safety System. Jim used to be a guide on the lake so he knows how to catch fish. We’re joined by Bill Hahn of Jay’s Sporting Goods. Bill has fished walleye before, but never caught a big one. It’s our goal to beat his personal best.

Lot’s of great fishing this week on Outdoor Magazine. I hope you enjoy it.


Outdoor Magazine Radio (Weekend of 7/25)

This week on Outdoor Magazine radio……

First, I talk about my lack of time on the water, and how that’s been replaced by the edit room. Currently I’m working on the next season of Fishing 411 and Jay’s Outdoor Magazine TV, including a show with Jim Barta of the Hunter Safety System.

Then Randy Jorgenson of Woods-n-Waternews joins me to talk about the latest edition of the magazine and also plans for their big Outdoor Weekend coming up in a few weeks.

In hour two we change the focus a little with Eric Sherwood of Whitetail Select. Eric talks about “fall seeding” of food plots and he explains why August is actually a better time to plant.

Mark Romanack wraps up the hour as we interrupt his Florida vacation. Mark had some great saltwater fishing adventures, including an unexpected close encounter with some sailfish.

Our third hour kicks off with noted outdoor writer Richard P. Smith. Richard is one of the country’s top experts on deer and black bear and he’s just finished Book 5 of his Great Michigan Deer Tales series.

Wild game chef Dixie Dave Minar helps me close out the show. This time the chef has a tasty rabbit recipe.

You can hear Outdoor Magazine radio on broadcast stations across Michigan, on our website and via podcast.

I hope you enjoy it….


Against my better judgement…..

I broke my own cardinal rule.

Over the years I’ve learned never to cancel a fishing trip because of a weather forecast or a fishing report. Yet today, I cancelled a walleye trip on Saginaw Bay.

Just last week the walleye fishing was still pretty good. In fact, my grandson Trent caught a master angler fish last Tuesday evening. You can read that story here.

But now the fishery is in a slump. It’s fairly common for the fishing to slow down mid summer, but the last several days it’s come to a screeching halt. As anglers, we’re always looking for an excuse and best one I can come up with is unstable weather.

I’ve talked with several avid “weekend warrior” anglers, and even some charter captain, and they all agree…the fishing is slow right now.

Normally I wouldn’t let that keep me off the water. I figure we can always jump in the Starcraft Islander and scratch out a few fish for a fun day on the water. The trip I just cancelled had more at stake though.

I was supposed to fish with a couple of friends from the Dow Chemical company and two others from Sportsman Channel. We we’re going to shoot a piece for the Outdoor Magazine tv show with charter captain Donny Carpenter of Captain D’s Charter Service.

As much as I wanted to hit the water, I wasn’t convinced we could catch a good number of fish, and Donny agreed. The last thing I wanted to do was take four people out for a mediocre night of fishing.

So the shoot is postponed….for now. I’m confident the fishing will pick up in the next few weeks and we’ll give it a try then.

In the meantime I keep thinking about a bunch of big Saginaw Bay walleye laughing at me for making the wrong decision……


Outdoor Magazine TV (week of 7/20)

There’s some great hunting action this week on the Outdoor Magazine show. First, I’ll head out after longbeards in my home state of Michigan. Turkey hunting can be tough enough, but I’m using a bow.

After several close encounters I put a nice tom on the ground. Then, something happens I’ve never seen before. Here’s an excerpt from the show so you can see what I’m talking about.

Then, veteran pro staffer Scott DeVuyst travels west to to New Mexico where he’s hunting elk. Scott is on the Mangas Ranch hunting with Vern’s Outfitting.

DeVuyst misses on his first try, then scores on a big herd bull.

Turkeys and elk make this an exciting show. I hope you enjoy it.


Outdoor Magazine Radio (7/18)

This week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show…..

I start out talking about a recent fishing trip on Saginaw Bay where my grandson Trent caught a master angler walleye. You can read the story here and listen to an excerpt of the show where I talk about the trip by

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Then Jerry Slade joins us.  Jerry is with The Slade Group realty and is considered Michigan’s premiere hunting land specialist.  Jerry has some advice on buying hunting land in a depressed economy.

We wrap up the first hour with Tom Campbell of Woods-n-Waternews.  Tom tells us what to expect from the August edition of the magazine.

Hour two kicks off with DNR biologist John Niewoonder. John is the acting big game specialist for the department and a good part of his time is spend dealing with whitetails. John told us about some changes in the antlerless permit program for the fall and the plan for decreasing the number of deer check stations during the season.

Then Mark Romanack of Precision Angling joined me on the Outdoor Magazine phone line to about the ICAST fishing show in Orlando.

Ed DeVries from the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge helped us kick off the third hour of the program. Ed talked about the role of federal refuges and Shiawassee specifically.

As always, Chef Dixie Dave Minar helped bring the show to a close. This week Dave has another great fish recipe.

Lots of great outdoor news and information this week on the Outdoor Magazine radio show. I hope you enjoy it.