Showing posts from 2013

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Musky Tale

‘Twas the night before Christmas, looking out at the lake Nothing was stirring, not even a wake; The rods were all strung with new braided line, In hopes that a Musky soon would be mine; The lures in the tackle box, hooks sharpened with care; While visions of monster filled the night air; Pliers in my pocket, gloves on my hands, Had just made by my count, my 10,000th cast, When out in the water there arose such a clatter, I sprang down the shoreline to see what was the matter. Turning on my headlamp it threw such a flash, I fell from the rocks and got quite a gash. The moon on the top of my Echotail had shown, A ripple, I knew my cover was blown, When what to my wandering eyes did appear, But a 50 inch musky trailing my lure, With a head so wide I started to shake, I knew in a moment my reputation at stake. More rapid than eagles his teeth they came, He slammed that lure, and was heard mocking my name: Now Israel, Now Izzy, Now Shorebound Hero too, What will happen now that I have you! From the edge of the…

Season of Change

The lake is frozen, so now we change from long rods to short, heavy lines to light, casting to jigging.  I used to just call it a season and toss my rods in the corner of the garage and grab my ice bucket.  Not anymore, you see I had an unfortunate accident last winter that broke 3 rods and a reel.  It wasn't funny at the time, but in hindsight how I managed to suck them into the snow blower and the chaos that ensued was pretty funny.  Anyways, I'm taking some steps to insure that the gear I used this year makes it to spring.
First off I have taken the time to separate the reels from the rods.  Next I wiped them down.  This was a good opportunity to take a close look at the rods for cracks or damaged eyelets.  I have new rod socks and a Plano Airliner rod tube so now the rods are tucked safely into the basement.  This spring when I head to New Orleans I know that they will all be in one piece and ready to fish.  I have taken the old line off and cleaned the reels.  I keep the b…

It's cold, wear layers

When I arrived at lake Monona the other morning it was 11 degrees outside.  I was all bundled up in my Ice Armor gear and was comfortable and warm.  The poor fellow just down the terrace from me was not dressed for the  weather and was noticeably miserable.  After about 20 minutes he went back to his car and called it a day.  Since I was dressed for the weather the fishing was comfortable and productive.
So what is the secret to lasting when out in the elements?  First off take some time before you head out the door to see what the conditions are.  Remember that when standing on the shore you will get cold fast.  The wind by the lake will always drop the temps a bit and any exposed skin will make you suffer.  A few basic layers will help you last when your out fishing in the nastiest of weather conditions.
The first step is the base layer.  For most of us this starts with long underwear.  You want a blend of fibers not just cotton.  Cotton doesn't dry quickly and since this is the l…

A Hero's Fall Musky Lures

I've gotten a few questions about what I am using to fish from shore now that the water is so cold.  Most people that know me can tell you that I am not a fan of live bait.  I don't keep the fish I catch, so I have a hard time rationalizing killing a fish to catch a fish.  I totally get it if you don't understand and I also respect your right to keep the fish you catch.  It's just my philosophy so if I am not floating suckers, then what am I using to catch pike and musky?
Just 2 lures, yup that's all 2 lures.  You're probably thinking to yourself he must be a bulldawg guy, or maybe he throws glide baits.  I don't use them, nothing against the lures but I have no confidence with them.  Also I have arthritis and carpel tunnel in both my hands and wrists so the weight of bulldawgs causes problems.  I get some serious pain and numbness when fishing heavy lures.  This pain is the same reason that I don't use glide baits anymore.  The repetitive motion of work…

The Surf Weight Advantage

Fishing in the fast current of rivers here in Wisconsin can be frustrating.  You rig up, cast out, and get your weight snagged on the bottom.  Rocks and logs are everywhere and everytime you snag you end up cutting your line and losing your rigging.  This senario has played out for me countless times and I thought that was just what you had to deal with.  That was until I went to Florida to try my hand at shark fishing from shore.  In my quest for the gear I would need to fish the surf I stumbled across these.
I know they don't look like much, but they changed my river fishing.  What you are looking at is a spider weight.  They are made from copper pipe filled with 5 oz. of concrete that has smaller diameter copper wire inserted into the end.  They are used by surf anglers to dig into the sand and keep the bait from being brought back to shore by the waves.  It looks like this when you open up the wire (get why it's called a spider weight).
The secret is that unlike a round or p…

13 Fishing Black Betty Reel with New Ice Fender

Ice fishing is just around the corner and if your anything like me you love to chase those panfish.  For the last year or so I have been using the 13 Fishing Black Betty Reel.  I really enjoyed the reel when fishing shallow with the exception of the spool getting caught on my glove when feathering the reel.  This year 13 Fishing has came out with the Ice Fender to solve that problem.  The reel works flawlessly now and I am so pumped to fish it over the next few months.  
The included video is a quick review I did of the reel and the new Ice Fender.  Check out the reel, ice fender, and all of their other products at

Tight Lines!!!

Surf Rods for Freshwater?

Ever notice that the boats are catching fish just out of your reach from shore?  For me at least it always seems to be 20 feet farther than I can cast.  No matter how hard I throw, how much torque I put on the rod, or even which reel I am using, I can't close that distance.  One day while killing time on YouTube I saw a video of surf fisherman in Montauk casting for stripped bass.  The rods were long and the distance they got was incredible.  Now this got the gears in my head turning and I started to wonder if this would work in Wisconsin?
Iwanted to try this idea out on muskies.  My thought was if I could cast out to the weed edge and get the fish to follow, they would have more than enough time to commit.  The locals I talked to thought the idea was crazy.  Most didn't say it to my face, but I could tell from the looks I got that I was on my own in this endeavor.  I kind of gave up on the idea until I ran into Larry Dahlberg from the tv show The Hunt For Big Fish.  Now Larry …

The River Monster Approach

I am a River Monsters addict!!!  For those of you haven't heard of it, River Monsters is a television series found on the Animal Planet channel.  The host Jeremy Wade travels the globe in search of some of the "deadliest" or as I see it most amazing fish species found in rivers.  I started fishing 4 years ago as a byproduct of seeing that program.  While viewing the program I started to notice something that was uncommon among the fisherman I have met on the shores here in Wisconsin.  What I noticed was that rather than having dedicated combos like bass and musky fisherman, he used different combinations of reels and rods to accomplish his angling.  I soon realized that if I adapted this idea I could chase a multitude of different species without having to own and maintain a large amount of gear.
So what do I mean?  How about we take a look at the 6 reels and 8 rods I currently own and how by swapping them around I can chase almost anything that swims.  The starting point…

Salmon Rigs, as Promised

In my last post I promised to reveal the rigs used to catch salmon and brown trout.  Port Washington salmon fishing is unlike any other type of angling I've done.  It is done with 7-9 foot medium light weight to medium weight rods, 2500 size reels, and 6-12 pound fluorocarbon line.  You can't use the standard slip bobber setup because the fishing is shoulder to shoulder and the current coming out of the power plant discharge is constantly changing.  It involves not casting, but simply dropping your line twenty feet to the water directly below you.  The action is fast with more fish lost than landed.
The first rig and most common is what I would call a 3 way swivel rig.  Bass fisherman would recognize it as a drop shot rig variant.  It involves a 3 way swivel tied to the main line.  A weight tied to a seperate piece of fluorocarbon line 6-10 inches long.  With a final section of fluorocarbon line 12-18 inches in length attached to a #6 or #8 hook depending on personal preference…

Hi my name is Israel, and I have ETS

I have seen it before, actually I see it all the time.  Fishing gear tucked into corners and left to rot, replaced with new gear, better gear, the must have gear.  Most of us suffer from ETS (Excessive Tackle Syndrome), myself included.  We all started with whatever we had.  Maybe loaned from a friend, or handed down from family.  Guess what?  We caught fish with it.  We did just fine, we laughed, smiled, and maybe bragged a little.  I started 4 years ago with a Zebco 33, you may have too.  They are inexpensive combos and probably account for more fish caught than any other reel and rod combo in history. So what happened?  One day I bought a magazine, maybe you met a new fishing buddy and before you new it the gear you had wasn't good enough.  I almost felt an addictive need to get a new rod and reel combo (lots of combos).  Something better, something that could handle bigger lures, something that would catch bigger fish!!!  So I bought my first baitcaster because the pros used th…

Frustrated from Shore

I spend a ridiculous amount of time chasing trophy fish (Seriously, I primarily chase muskies).I get lots of questions from people that catch “whatever is biting” as to how I manage to find fish so big when I don’t even own a boat.I call it the Shorebound Hero method (hence the name of the blog).The idea came to me after finding out that the 2nd boat I had purchased needed significant work done.Now as a father of 2 and husband of 1, I didn’t have the money.So I started fishing from shore only to feel bad every time I saw a boat leave the dock.I was losing the battle in my head before I even casted a line.I couldn’t carry all my gear, the high end combos I had to own were getting damaged, I had to battle with other anglers for limited spots on crowded urban lakes, I didn’t believe I could cast a line out far enough to find fish, the list went on and on.As I liked to say it wasn’t my fault, I needed a boat.Truth is I was the problem.I was so caught up in the articles, advertisi…

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