Fishing Tournament Weigh-ins are Misleading

When guys hear about someone weighing weighing in a heavy stringer or fish, they think they must have a great spot full of big fish and everyone tries to figure out where that spot is. It can be maddening, I know, it’s happened to me and I did good in a lot of tournaments and knew better. You picture 2 guys going to a spot and pulling in big fish all day, but 99% of the time that isn’t the case. Instead you have 2 guys standing up working hard all day waiting for 6 bites, and most times that’s all it takes, 6 bites, 6 fish and win the tournament. Of course it’s usually more than that, but they just need the 6 good bites to win. Most times they don’t get them in one spot, no, they catch a fish here and there. When 2 guys are working hard all day it would be hard not to catch 6 fish. But things happen, muddy high water, fishing pressure, tournament pressure, fish moving, people fishing your best spots, a lot of things can go wrong.

People think that since I used to fish tournaments and do well, and guided out, that I always catch fish and know where the fish are, but I don’t. If I catch a couple, I’m fine with that, I just enjoy getting out. I don’t chase the hot bite like so many others do. The fish do a lot of moving and it is hard work to keep up with them. I don’t want to work, I want to have fun, get away from it all and watch and enjoy nature.

I like looking around. If I see boats, I go the other way. That is why I get so angry when they follow me. I am not catching a lot of fish, I am trying to get away from people. I like looking around for new spots, spots where no one else fishes. There isn’t fish in those places, but if they look promising I keep going back and checking on them. I do have go to spots where I can catch a couple to make it worth my while, and yes I get angry when people spy on me and try to clean those spots out. But then it isn’t worth going back and I will just go somewhere else and look around. Then when people follow me there too, it isn’t any easier to take.

The guys who chase fish stories are sitting on fish and just not catching any, so they worry about everyone else. well most times the fish just aren’t biting. If fish were always biting there wouldn’t be any more fish. I would recommend people not be so greedy, and be happy to catch a couple. If you want a lot of fish, stick with bluegill or catfish.

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Wildlife and Nature Prints for Sale

As I mentioned I bought a new Canon printer that prints up to 13×19″, and the print quality is outstanding! I just bought some shipping tubes. I am printing out 8x10s to check print quality and make adjustments if needed, so I plan on showing these on my website along with the digital copy, so people will know what they are getting. The prints will be on high quality printing paper.

The prints in ebay and at walmart are cheap paper and will wrinkle. Comparable prints online are really expensive. Right now I will sell prints for $10-$30 with free shipping. Most of the photos were taken with professional cameras in this area, either the Rock or Mississippi Rivers.

So far I have printed 150 8x10s and I have many more to go. Please help support a local business and buy my prints. The only place I sell them is be on my website.

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Photo Printer Tips – Canon Pro100

First Tip, don’t buy an epson workforce 7010, it is user unfriendly, refilling inks is a pain and probably won’t work as well. This printer never did print blacks well. It only has 4 colors. I wasted $250. Now that I have the canon pro100, my epson prints are not near as good. I have about 150 prints now and refilled all the cartridges at least once, but did get about 100 before I needed to start refilling. Follow instructions carefully, and watch videos online.

Refillable inks can only be bought from precision I bought them and refilling went ok and prints look just as good.

Don’t buy blank cartridges, the chip won’t work so I wasted $60 to find that out. Instead, buy one set of new canon ink cartridges for $120, and you’ll have the second set that you need.

If you use hp glossy paper, it takes a long time for ink to dry. They won;t go into a plastic sleeve until they dry for about 30 minutes.

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Fisherman – You’re Being Watched

No matter where you go on the water, people are watching you. There is a constant stream of trucks with trailer hitches driving through boat ramps or any look out. People in houses and cabins along the river watch with spotting scopes. Some will race out there if the see you catch fish (watch out for a brown V-bottom around Big Slough). They will wait for Saturday and Sunday tournament blast offs to see if anyone fishes in their area.

People have the whole river to fish, no one owns the river. But that’s not what they want, they just want to go where the fish are biting, or where others are catching fish, most fish feed in peace because all the boats cling together like seagulls. For most it is just fine to help each other out. They hang out together, share information, like where they saw someone catch fish. That’s because most fisherman aren’t very good. No matter how good they are at catching fish, if they aren’t sitting over fish they are lost.

This week I was fishing by a mid pool boat ramp and catching a few fish. The next day there was 6 boats fighting over the area. The next day there was ten. It was a spot that no one hardly ever fishes, so I know I was being watched and talked about. I move to another area close by,. and the boats start migrating to me, pretty soon I am surround by boats again. It is a real circus over there anymore.

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Walleye By Big Slough

All those house and cabins along big slough, and some on the Iowa side, the ones who watch other fisherman with spy glasses, then race to the spot after they leave, seem to struggle to catch Walleye, so this is for them. The walleye are there in all those wingdams you’re fishing but they are hard to catch. The rest of us struggle too. Sometimes catch 2 fish is a good day, some times we get skunked, sometimes when they’re biting we might get a limit. I have watched Iowa DNR shock those wingdams just outside of the main cut to the main river on the north end of big slough and dozens of big walleyes surface. Just look at their website and see all the 27-28″ walleye they hold up for photos. Sometimes they put tracking devices in them. But here’s the secret, they don’t always bite or there wouldn’t be anymore fish.

When the water is high, which seems to be the norm any more, the fish hang out in big slough, sometimes in the slough feeding, most of the time in the stumps and weed beds.

I like to fish that area by cooks island up to Savanna but it’s just too far for me being a on retirement budget. That is where most of the big fish are. If I could fish it everyday I would be looking for new spots besides wingdams. There are many side sloughs that are deep with decent current and full of bait fish. From lower lake all the way to Bulger hollow it has been dredged out for the rail road tracks. There is so many place for fish to hang out and no one fishes there, because no one looks for fish in those spots. All along Subula is a magnet for bait fish and walleye, but again, no one fishes there. All those wingdams around the railroad bridge, hardly anyone fishes. All you have to do is figure out the secrets to the spots. Those secrets could be where fish move through, or where they sit all the time. Most of the wingdams above savana never get hit, it’s a no man’s zone because it’s too far for everyone.

I mostly take photos anymore, I don’t catch many fish, I just like to get away from everyone and look for photo opportunities. I also like to look for new spots, which is what fishing is all about and I don’t like it when people follow me around. I figure they can do their own work and consider it stealing. I lose any desire to look around if people are just going to steal everything I find. If you think it’s harmless to fish where you saw me, well other people see you and then they fish there. Pretty soon I can’t even fish in spots I found on my own. It makes fishing not worth the trouble, and why I am getting away from fishing and getting more and more into photography.

The other day I was watching 2 eagles, hoping they would catch a fish in front of me and there was mink around I was watching. Then someone saw me, changed course, cut me off and scared everything away. This is so irritating and it happens all the time. There are plenty of places where fish where no one fishes, waiting for you to find. I have spots so secret I don’t even fish them unless I’m sure there are no boats on the river and people run right by them all the time without trying. They just run “to the spot” where they saw someone, heard someone was fishing or where they caught fish once before where they saw someone fishing. People think they aren’t good enough to find fish. Well there is no better satisfaction than finding fish and figuring out how to catch them. We are all amateurs doing that. I also do a lot of bass fishing just to get off the beaten path and fish where I might see some wildlife because walleye fishing is so tough for me. I can’t afford nor do I want to chase fish. Like I know the best place top fish right now is mid pool, but I stay away to save money.


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