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Tuesday
May192015

Sturgeon Bay Smallies

Just returned from one of the greatest fisheries in the world, Sturgeon Bay WI!  It has become an annual adventure every May to hit up this area of Door County for the exceptional smallmouth fishing.  

This year was no different, Big Buff and I headed for the Bay with loads of smallmouth baits, rods, reels, and two boats in tow.  Anticipation ran high as it always does and we rolled into town with big smallies on the brain.  We launched out of little sturgeon and the first thing we did was check water temps and then start running some water in search of the bay's giant smallies.  We found the fish to be biting, but not be the size we were used to.  We landed 30-40 fish the first day, was a blast, but we never had a fish over 4lbs.  Very odd for Sturgeon Bay but it was only the first day.  

As the week went on, more of the same; big #'s of fish but not the quality we were used to.  As the chatter started amongst the anglers we quickly learned we weren't the only ones that had been struggling to find the quality smallmouth we had come accustomed to catching.  Don't get me wrong, catching 40-100 smallmouth a day in the 2-4lb range is about as good as it gets, but it isn't what you want when you need to be catching 5-6lb fish for the upcoming tourney we had to prepare for.  

After dealing with some tough weather and tough practice conditions we had to prepare for a tourney.  Buff and I set out on the first day to just go fishing and have fun.  We accomplished exactly that.  We caught a bunch of fish and had a great time, unfortunately they weren't as big as we hoped and finished day one in 69th place with 20.90 lbs.  Knowing we needed a big day two to make up enough ground to get a check we swung for the fence on day two.  I ran 25 miles up the lake to an area that we knew we could get some big bites.  We fished a 150 yard stretch all day for a total of 7 bites, 5 of which made it in the boat and were "good ones".  The other 2 bites got off and all we needed was one of them...one of those fish in the boat and we would have had a nice day 2 bag of 4+ lb fish that would have got us real close to check.  Instead I had to run at the last minute to get our 6th fish for a limit and it was just a little peanut.  We finished day 2 with 22lbs and one fish we had to weigh was less then a 1lb....ouch!  That was the gamble we had to take and it came ever so close to paying off.  We ended up finishing the Sturgeon Bay Open in 51st place out of 168 teams, not the finish we had hoped for but sometimes you have to do it wrong before we do it right.  It was a great learning experience and good time.   

One thing is for sure, the burning desire to crush it next year is already burning.  It is a long wait until next May when we get to go back to this amazing fishery and try our skills again.  

Now onto the present....  MN fishing season is in full swing and I can't wait to get after some fish around here.  Excited to get some guide trips on some fish and also have a few fresh walleye fish frys.  It will be a busy few weeks and months ahead.  If you are looking to get out, get a hold of me now and we can get you scheduled.  Until next time, fish on and get out and stretch the string!   

Monday
May182015

FXR On Board

Excited to finally annouce the "big news"!!  For the 2015 fishing season I have signed on board with FXR Racing/Outdoor company as a title sponsor!  

The new Ranger Z521c wrap boat powered by a 250HO Evinrude has hit the water, and Dustin Byfuglien and I will be fishing 6 or 7 bass tournaments throughout the midwest and Canada this summer/fall.  Can't say enough about the great products FXR makes in the snowmobile, moto cross, hunting, and outdoor categories.  They have great offerings for many of the sports we all love to enjoy, take a minute to check out all the cool products they have.  I am sure you will find some things you want for yourself or better half, or maybe your kid.   

If you see me on the water or on the road, stop by and say hi.  Take some pics and hash tag #fxrfishing #fishwithmatt #fxrboat #fxroutdoor and you might have a chance to win some free stuff.  Until next time, Fish On!  

Friday
Apr242015

Spring has Sprung

New seasons mark new beginnings and it is an exciting time to be an outdoorsman...  Then again, when isn't it an exciting time to be an outdoorsman or woman.  Like any other turn of the seasons anticispation is high and so is the level of confidence.  

With the ice off all the area lakes and the spring panfish season in full swing I was able to get out and check a few bites.  I managed a day on Lake Minnetonka and a day on Lake Waconia.  Both of them proved to be good outings with lots of panfish coming over the side of the boat.  The water temps on Lake Waconia ranged in the 52-57 range and Lake Minnetonka was 47-59 prior to this big cold front we had this week.  I suspect it has dropped a bit with the high winds and cool temps.  Even snowed a few times this week.  Obvioulsy this time of year the shallow provides the warmest water and many times the first area fish will go to get active.  I did find plenty of active crappies in the 6-10 fow on Lake Waconia.  It seems most everyone has found that bite.  ;)  

Up next myself and a few of the guys will spend some days trying to harvest a turkey or two in WI.  We hope to be able to bring you a new episode of Harvest Chronicles following next weeks hunts.  The spring turkey season is quickly become a tradition for many of us at the farm and a sign of passage that the long cold days are behind us for a few months.  

Right after we wrap turkey season I will be heading to the world class fishery of Sturgeon Bay WI to chase the giant smallmouth around.  This will be my 4th year in a row I have ventured out there in May and I have come to learn that this is a trip I will never miss.  Some of the most amazing smallmouth fishing and also fierce competiton as as many as 150 teams will be battling for the title of champion.  This year I again will be fishing with good friend Dustin Byfuglien since his hopes for a 2nd stanley cup were recenlty erased by the Anaheim Ducks.  Regardless, Winnipeg had a fantastic year and it was good to see them make the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.  

Next time you hear from you I hope it is because I have taken a big ol WI gobbler down with the Mathews!  Now get out and stretch the string.

Friday
Mar062015

Prospecting for Gold

It has been an amazing few weeks chasing gravel lizards with some moments and memories that will not be soon forgotten.  This prospecting put me in the biggest gold rush of my life.  Something about these massive creatures that drives me crazy.  They push me and my gear to the limits and these past few trips are no exception.  The cold, wind, and rough conditions make it that much more rewarding when you do have success. 

Over a few day period myself and Benji landed 13 fish over 27" with the biggest going 30" and weighing in at 11.9.  Hard to put into words when the best 5 for the day would have weighed over 51lbs total.  

When you look up giant gravel lizards this outing will top the list for many years to come.  All the hard work and dedication pays off at times, in a big way.  

Many people have asked what I was using when I caught all these big fish recently.  First let me tell you that all these fish came "jigging".  The bait of choice was a Clam Psycho Shad in gold shiner in a 3.8/55 size.  They usually would hit it and push slack in the line.  

Remember the tug is the drug, get out and stretch the string, Fish On!