The Hunting & Fishing Thread

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Man I haven't turkey hunted in several years since I started my own business. But I still remember my last two hunts:

1. Was blanked all month and couldn't draw a turkey to me to save my life. I would sit there and call, the Tom would answer all morning but never come near my blind. I changed spots, tried stalking a few times, but the stinking thing just stayed away. Last day of the season, I just walked to the edge of the field, sat down on a blown down tree in the hedgerow and did a couple warbles. A tom answered pretty quick and then again closer and again. I could hear this thing running through the thick brush coming my way. I never did another call and within 3-4 minutes it was right in front of me for an easy shot.

2. My dad was watching a small flock of turkeys all spring and they were roosting in 2 particular trees. He set up a blind one night and they weren't spooked by it at all and kept roosting in the same trees. I drove down to his house, crashed on the sofa. We got up at 5, had a quick breakfast and hoofed it to the blind in the dark. A few minutes before legal shooting time, I gave a single warble and I had 4-5 answers right away. 3 big toms and a few hens came crashing down into the woods around us and I whispered to my dad to get ready to shoot. I shot and dropped one, and didn't hear anything from my dad. I looked over at him and in his excitement to get up and out that morning didn't load his gun. He was looking so forlorn that I busted out laughing. After all the scouting he did, I ended up giving him my turkey. But every time we were going somewhere after that, I would rub it in by asking: "Forget anything?" And he would always know what I was talking about!
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southdakbearfan wrote: Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:15 pm First limit of walleye on open water for the year Friday right at dark. 15-17” eaters casting from shore about a mile from the house that took about 45 minutes to get. Weeded through a lot of dinks to do it but was fun.
The bass woke up two weeks ago and now all is right with the world.

Took the day off today and went out for a few hours early this morning. 13 bass and 2 perch. All on shiners.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 12:36 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Mon Apr 11, 2022 3:15 pm First limit of walleye on open water for the year Friday right at dark. 15-17” eaters casting from shore about a mile from the house that took about 45 minutes to get. Weeded through a lot of dinks to do it but was fun.
The bass woke up two weeks ago and now all is right with the world.

Took the day off today and went out for a few hours early this morning. 13 bass and 2 perch. All on shiners.
Storms every couple of days is hindering us now, and we went from a drought to flooding in about 2 weeks worth of time.
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Wandered over the lake, 1 mile from the house last night about 7:45 pm. It's been windy, cold and stormy here so no real time to fish and I haven't gotten the boat ready yet.

3rd cast boom 16" walleye. I was like cool, if i can pick up another 3 I have a nice limit for a meal. 4th cast boom, another 16" walleye and I was like damn they are hopping tonight. Well 40 minutes and however many casts and retrieves later finally another hit, 18" walleye. One to go. Well they made me go another 20 minutes before I got the last one, another 16" walleye.

All in all, about 1 hour and 15 minutes and a limit of walleye on mimic minnow swim bait wasn't too bad of an evening of stress relief.
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Dang I need to get after the fish. Good work boys.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:27 pm Wandered over the lake, 1 mile from the house last night about 7:45 pm. It's been windy, cold and stormy here so no real time to fish and I haven't gotten the boat ready yet.

3rd cast boom 16" walleye. I was like cool, if i can pick up another 3 I have a nice limit for a meal. 4th cast boom, another 16" walleye and I was like damn they are hopping tonight. Well 40 minutes and however many casts and retrieves later finally another hit, 18" walleye. One to go. Well they made me go another 20 minutes before I got the last one, another 16" walleye.

All in all, about 1 hour and 15 minutes and a limit of walleye on mimic minnow swim bait wasn't too bad of an evening of stress relief.
My PR on walleye is like 16". Something like that. Sounds like that's a regular occurrence by you.

Got the kid out a few days ago and she killed it. I did good too, but she got a couple big boys. Solid 4 or 5 pounds.

We were in the fishing waiters. Always nice to break those out. Again caught on shiners.

One interesting thing about the bass this year is the coloring is lighter than usual. That implies either dirty water or they've been hanging out really deep. I normally fish in 15' or so and they're normally darker than this. Just an observation.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 4:35 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 10:27 pm Wandered over the lake, 1 mile from the house last night about 7:45 pm. It's been windy, cold and stormy here so no real time to fish and I haven't gotten the boat ready yet.

3rd cast boom 16" walleye. I was like cool, if i can pick up another 3 I have a nice limit for a meal. 4th cast boom, another 16" walleye and I was like damn they are hopping tonight. Well 40 minutes and however many casts and retrieves later finally another hit, 18" walleye. One to go. Well they made me go another 20 minutes before I got the last one, another 16" walleye.

All in all, about 1 hour and 15 minutes and a limit of walleye on mimic minnow swim bait wasn't too bad of an evening of stress relief.
My PR on walleye is like 16". Something like that. Sounds like that's a regular occurrence by you.

Got the kid out a few days ago and she killed it. I did good too, but she got a couple big boys. Solid 4 or 5 pounds.

We were in the fishing waiters. Always nice to break those out. Again caught on shiners.

One interesting thing about the bass this year is the coloring is lighter than usual. That implies either dirty water or they've been hanging out really deep. I normally fish in 15' or so and they're normally darker than this. Just an observation.
Always good to get the kids out. The son is itching to get the boat out soon but the weather just hasn't cooperated yet. Ice came off early yet it remains very cool out. All the walleyes I caught were males and were milking so the spawn is either on or just over.

Mostly we target walleye, crappie, perch, blue gill and northern up here. Of course since we target walleye we catch some bigger ones, but anything over 23" goes back in the lake. They start to get fishy at that length, and most lakes have a 14" or 15" minimum with a slot of one fish over 20" for walleye, saugeye or sauger. Caught a few over 31" - 33" in Canada, Montana and here in SD. I think the biggest Bass I ever caught was just shy of 6 lbs, a smallmouth on an ultralight set up with 4lb fireline. Not much for largemouth fishing up this way.
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Took my sons fishing 2 days in a row. I got to cast a couple of times. They caught a slew of little blue gills. The one wanted to keep and eat them. I spent a long time cutting them up but he loves fish.
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mmmc_35 wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:53 am Took my sons fishing 2 days in a row. I got to cast a couple of times. They caught a slew of little blue gills. The one wanted to keep and eat them. I spent a long time cutting them up but he loves fish.
Bluegills are a little difficult to fillet until you get a method down. That tuff spot in the abdomen is a hard one to cut through. A very sharp fillet knife or good electric fillet knife is a must. Grandpa use to love to scale them and fry one up each morning for breakfast.

I started the kids on blue gills at the lake close to our house. Always a fun time.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 11:55 am
mmmc_35 wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:53 am Took my sons fishing 2 days in a row. I got to cast a couple of times. They caught a slew of little blue gills. The one wanted to keep and eat them. I spent a long time cutting them up but he loves fish.
Bluegills are a little difficult to fillet until you get a method down. That tuff spot in the abdomen is a hard one to cut through. A very sharp fillet knife or good electric fillet knife is a must. Grandpa use to love to scale them and fry one up each morning for breakfast.

I started the kids on blue gills at the lake close to our house. Always a fun time.
Or take the bluegills, cut some up into chunks, keep others live and then go catfishing. Cut bait is great for catfish. Then eat the catfish. Much better meal.

On my end, getting consistent visuals on muskies, but can't hook one. The bass are a dime a dozen now which is great and they are hungry. I'm getting bass on suckers and it's like how big is that bass's stomach?

Trying a mix of suckers, shiners, and a few different kinds of bucktails.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 11:55 am
mmmc_35 wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:53 am Took my sons fishing 2 days in a row. I got to cast a couple of times. They caught a slew of little blue gills. The one wanted to keep and eat them. I spent a long time cutting them up but he loves fish.
Bluegills are a little difficult to fillet until you get a method down. That tuff spot in the abdomen is a hard one to cut through. A very sharp fillet knife or good electric fillet knife is a must. Grandpa use to love to scale them and fry one up each morning for breakfast.

I started the kids on blue gills at the lake close to our house. Always a fun time.
Yeah with decent sized blue gill it's not so much of a pain. I have a dull fillet knife I use to scale and a good one to cut the fillet. These were fairly small. I wouldn't have kept them if he wasnt excited about it. I'm glad my kids learn where food comes from, but next time I hope the pick bigger food.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 1:15 pm
southdakbearfan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 11:55 am

Bluegills are a little difficult to fillet until you get a method down. That tuff spot in the abdomen is a hard one to cut through. A very sharp fillet knife or good electric fillet knife is a must. Grandpa use to love to scale them and fry one up each morning for breakfast.

I started the kids on blue gills at the lake close to our house. Always a fun time.
Or take the bluegills, cut some up into chunks, keep others live and then go catfishing. Cut bait is great for catfish. Then eat the catfish. Much better meal.

On my end, getting consistent visuals on muskies, but can't hook one. The bass are a dime a dozen now which is great and they are hungry. I'm getting bass on suckers and it's like how big is that bass's stomach?

Trying a mix of suckers, shiners, and a few different kinds of bucktails.
Our cats aren't very good out of the lakes here, the river channel cats are pretty good up to a couple pounds. The lake ones are typically way bigger, biggest yet was 16 lbs and I turned him loose. Not much for Flatheads or Blue Cats up here.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:45 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 1:15 pm

Or take the bluegills, cut some up into chunks, keep others live and then go catfishing. Cut bait is great for catfish. Then eat the catfish. Much better meal.

On my end, getting consistent visuals on muskies, but can't hook one. The bass are a dime a dozen now which is great and they are hungry. I'm getting bass on suckers and it's like how big is that bass's stomach?

Trying a mix of suckers, shiners, and a few different kinds of bucktails.
Our cats aren't very good out of the lakes here, the river channel cats are pretty good up to a couple pounds. The lake ones are typically way bigger, biggest yet was 16 lbs and I turned him loose. Not much for Flatheads or Blue Cats up here.
My PR on catfish is 20 pounds although I've seen much bigger. The length of a coffee table and fat.

Caught that 20 pounder last year and my net handle broke lifting it up and over the wooden rail of the pier I was fishing off of. Wasn't even catfishing at the time. It ate a shiner.

Last season my kid darn near hooked a carp with scales like a dragon. I shit you not that thing was 40 pounds if it was a pound.

Another time we were in the waiters in waist deep water bass fishing. Hot day. You could see the tops of the catfish and carp swimming by us and around us. Crazy couple of hours.

Then I'm fishing one day off that same pier and a guy shows up asking to split the pier with me. (It's a wide pier so plenty of room.) He breaks out this catfish tackle.

His fishing rod was about 10 feet long, the bobber looked like a sonar buoy, and he was using shrimp for bait. He starts telling me all about the giants that he and others have pulled out of the Fox River. I asked him about the shrimp how that worked. I never saw that before. He said he lands giants with store bought thawed shrimp all the time.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 3:32 am
His fishing rod was about 10 feet long, the bobber looked like a sonar buoy, and he was using shrimp for bait. He starts telling me all about the giants that he and others have pulled out of the Fox River. I asked him about the shrimp how that worked. I never saw that before. He said he lands giants with store bought thawed shrimp all the time.
I dont catfish but that's something I've never heard of or seen.
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Tried a new spot today. 2 bass and 1 perch. Nothing special, but at least the bass were a decent size.

However...

It was like a dolphin show out there. They kept jumping out of the water and my kid and I were in the waiters in the water with the bass.

We found a good spot about 50 yards down that we're going to try tomorrow.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 3:32 am
southdakbearfan wrote: Tue May 24, 2022 10:45 pm

Our cats aren't very good out of the lakes here, the river channel cats are pretty good up to a couple pounds. The lake ones are typically way bigger, biggest yet was 16 lbs and I turned him loose. Not much for Flatheads or Blue Cats up here.
My PR on catfish is 20 pounds although I've seen much bigger. The length of a coffee table and fat.

Caught that 20 pounder last year and my net handle broke lifting it up and over the wooden rail of the pier I was fishing off of. Wasn't even catfishing at the time. It ate a shiner.

Last season my kid darn near hooked a carp with scales like a dragon. I shit you not that thing was 40 pounds if it was a pound.

Another time we were in the waiters in waist deep water bass fishing. Hot day. You could see the tops of the catfish and carp swimming by us and around us. Crazy couple of hours.

Then I'm fishing one day off that same pier and a guy shows up asking to split the pier with me. (It's a wide pier so plenty of room.) He breaks out this catfish tackle.

His fishing rod was about 10 feet long, the bobber looked like a sonar buoy, and he was using shrimp for bait. He starts telling me all about the giants that he and others have pulled out of the Fox River. I asked him about the shrimp how that worked. I never saw that before. He said he lands giants with store bought thawed shrimp all the time.
When I fished the Fox (in southern Wisconsin) in the early '70s, it was strictly for carp, the river was so polluted. I read Dale Bowman's column in the Sun Times and am gratified to see the water quality improvements in the Des Plaines River, Chicago River, and the amazing number of species being caught in Lake Michigan along the rocks and harbors (smallmouthy, northern pike).
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Grizzled wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 12:59 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed May 25, 2022 3:32 am

My PR on catfish is 20 pounds although I've seen much bigger. The length of a coffee table and fat.

Caught that 20 pounder last year and my net handle broke lifting it up and over the wooden rail of the pier I was fishing off of. Wasn't even catfishing at the time. It ate a shiner.

Last season my kid darn near hooked a carp with scales like a dragon. I shit you not that thing was 40 pounds if it was a pound.

Another time we were in the waiters in waist deep water bass fishing. Hot day. You could see the tops of the catfish and carp swimming by us and around us. Crazy couple of hours.

Then I'm fishing one day off that same pier and a guy shows up asking to split the pier with me. (It's a wide pier so plenty of room.) He breaks out this catfish tackle.

His fishing rod was about 10 feet long, the bobber looked like a sonar buoy, and he was using shrimp for bait. He starts telling me all about the giants that he and others have pulled out of the Fox River. I asked him about the shrimp how that worked. I never saw that before. He said he lands giants with store bought thawed shrimp all the time.
When I fished the Fox (in southern Wisconsin) in the early '70s, it was strictly for carp, the river was so polluted. I read Dale Bowman's column in the Sun Times and am gratified to see the water quality improvements in the Des Plaines River, Chicago River, and the amazing number of species being caught in Lake Michigan along the rocks and harbors (smallmouthy, northern pike).
I've bumped into a few people now that talk about how good the Fox River is for various species. There's a guy I bump into during Fall Muskie season that pulls those things out of the Fox.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 3:38 am
Grizzled wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 12:59 pm

When I fished the Fox (in southern Wisconsin) in the early '70s, it was strictly for carp, the river was so polluted. I read Dale Bowman's column in the Sun Times and am gratified to see the water quality improvements in the Des Plaines River, Chicago River, and the amazing number of species being caught in Lake Michigan along the rocks and harbors (smallmouthy, northern pike).
I've bumped into a few people now that talk about how good the Fox River is for various species. There's a guy I bump into during Fall Muskie season that pulls those things out of the Fox.
Incredibly good to hear. Fished the Fox (polluted), the Illinois (polluted), I guess the Clean Water regs have helped. Fished the Kankakee a lot, wading for smallies, it's still good.
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Luckily I've been able to get out on a few floats here recently. No real food fish but picking up a few decent smallies. Pretty much all the rivers down here are full of them.

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Overall though since turkey season ended I've been trying to spend more time in the garden and greenhouse.

Today I thinned between my over-planted carrots and pulled enough babies for the meal I had planned.

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It was also time to harvest scapes from the garlic, so I thawed out a quail and some woodcock I'd shot last season

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Pan fried the scapes and birds in bacon fat, then took some baby kale and what remained of the Swiss chard from the garden and sautéed that in the leftovers.

Served the roasted carrots over wild rice.

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Burl wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 9:40 pm Luckily I've been able to get out on a few floats here recently. No real food fish but picking up a few decent smallies. Pretty much all the rivers down here are full of them.

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Overall though since turkey season ended I've been trying to spend more time in the garden and greenhouse.

Today I thinned between my over-planted carrots and pulled enough babies for the meal I had planned.

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It was also time to harvest scapes from the garlic, so I thawed out a quail and some woodcock I'd shot last season

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Pan fried the scapes and birds in bacon fat, then took some baby kale and what remained of the Swiss chard from the garden and sautéed that in the leftovers.

Served the roasted carrots over wild rice.

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Very nice smallie and the other pics were great also. Making my mouth water.
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I'm insanely jealous
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Note: If the world were to crash down all around us, head to Burly's place.
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Had a nice couple days at the lake with the kids.
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That's outstanding @Burl . I really should focus on eating some of my catches.

@southdakbearfan Got enough crappies there dude? LOL. Awesome job. How are you going to eat them? Fry them?
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Already ate the first batch and walleye, the rest went into the freezer for a family event since they all like and want fish. Fun fact, only 3 of those fish were females, and we noticed that the females were all a lot lighter colored so we quit keeping them. Males are guarding the nests right now so they are aggressive on small jigs with plastic crayfish bodies, no bait. 1/16th to 1/32nd oz jigs, 4-6 lb mono on ultralights.

We fried the crappie. Northern I love to steak and grill on a plank. Walleye - fry or poach.

I think I only caught 3 of the fish each day as I was standing in the middle of the boat rigging rods, retying broke off jigs and running the trolling motor via remote.

I got the next week off though, that's my fishing time. Chasing walleye and northern on the missouri river.
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southdakbearfan wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:00 pm Already ate the first batch and walleye, the rest went into the freezer for a family event since they all like and want fish. Fun fact, only 3 of those fish were females, and we noticed that the females were all a lot lighter colored so we quit keeping them. Males are guarding the nests right now so they are aggressive on small jigs with plastic crayfish bodies, no bait. 1/16th to 1/32nd oz jigs, 4-6 lb mono on ultralights.

We fried the crappie. Northern I love to steak and grill on a plank. Walleye - fry or poach.

I think I only caught 3 of the fish each day as I was standing in the middle of the boat rigging rods, retying broke off jigs and running the trolling motor via remote.

I got the next week off though, that's my fishing time. Chasing walleye and northern on the missouri river.
Yep any bottom feeding type lure or bait pays off huge during the whole spawn period. I'm getting bass on medium suckers pretty consistently right now for the same reason.

That sounds like an awesome use of a week off.
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Of fishing related channels on YouTube that I subscribe to this one is my favorite.

My frills, no epic walkup music or any crap. Just a guy fishing in his kayak. Normally he does not use Legos.

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Fantastic weekend of fishing.

Between my kid and I....

Yesterday: 15 bass (several of them huge ones) plus 4 perch of which 2 were the size of bass.

Today: Got a tip from an acquaintance at the bait shop this morning. 3 bass of which 2 were big fat tanks. Both of those were caught on suckers.
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Me and my son took the parents out Saturday and it was great. 16 keeper walleyes in about 4 hours. 17-21”

Going out tomorrow with may dad and two nephews as I have the week off.
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A little outdoors humor: A guy and his buddy are sitting in a deer blind in the woods behind his house. He's scoping things out looking for deer when he lets out a cuss. "What the heck is Mike's truck doing in my driveway?" he mutters. The other guy replies: "if I caught my wife fooling around on me, I'd put one in her head and one in the guy's privates. The first guy looks through his scope again: "One shot will do it".
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