Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What Is New with LOA in 2014

What is Happening in the World Of Leisure Outdoor Adventures

Leisure Outdoor Adventures has had a busy few months here in 2014 with many new and exciting opportunities as we venture into the upcoming spring and summer seasons.  Whether it is the expansion of the guide service into new frontiers or the take off of our new online webisode called On the Road with LOA.  Big things are happening in the world of Leisure Outdoor Adventures and we want to make sure all of our fans, supporters, and promotional partners get a sneak peak at what is in store for 2014.  Lets take a look:

1. Partnership with Reeds Family Outfitters - We are super excited and very fortunate to be working with premier outfitters in the Midwest!  We will have the opportunity to utilize our strengths as a company and look to add to the legacy that is Reeds. With both businesses based out of Walker, Minnesota the partnership is proving to be a exceptional combo.  Reeds is the leader in outdoor retail industry. Throughout the coming months look for more about this and be sure to stop into either Reeds locations in Walker or Onamia to check out their awesome deals and experience their world class customer service.  Click Here to check out their website.  

2.  Other New Partnerships with KenKatch Tackle Company and Excel Outdoors.  One of the things we take pride in at Leisure Outdoor Adventures is partnering with companies whose product and overall company platform is one we believe in.  In recent weeks, we have announced our new partnerships with both of these companies and we can’t be more excited about it.  Stay tuned through the upcoming weeks for product highlights, videos, and information about both of these companies and their product lines.  Be sure to check out their websites and “LIKE” them on Facebook.  
KENKATCH logo.jpg

3. Expansion into the Grand Rapids Market - New this spring the Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Service has recently expanded its services into the Grand Rapids, Minnesota market.  With this expansion we have added a new full time fishing guide to our guide team in Aaron Murphy.  To read more about Aaron Click Here.  Murph, as we call him, will be leading the charge in this fantastic fishing area.  To go along with that, co-owner of Bigtooth Tackle Josh Kragthorpe will also be lending a hand by offering fully guided musky trips.  If you are looking to book a trip or bring a corporate event to the area check out Sugar Lake Lodge.

Aaron Murphy
Josh Kraghtorpe
  4. Other Expansions - Further increasing the LOA Guide Service presence in Central Minnesota will be Mike Raetz and Kirby Budrow.  Mike will be focusing his efforts on the Hackensack Area on lakes such as Ten Mile, Woman, and many more.  He is an avid crappie and bass fisherman and loves to pursue them in all seasons during both the hard water season and soft water seasons.  Kirby will be a musky guide focusing his efforts on lakes such as Shamineau, Alexander, Mille Lacs, the Mississippi River, and others.  If you are looking for some other types of fishing adventures, these are definitely something to consider!  We are excited to have both Mike and Kirby working with us this year.
Mike Raetz
Kirby Budrow.jpg
Kirby Budrow

5. On the Road with LOA - New this winter we launched our new online webisode called On the Road with LOA.  Whether it is destinations or the search for big fish, you are not going to want to miss watching these episodes. This intense, entertaining, and real life show not only provides incredible fish catches and adventures, but a glimpse into who we are as fishing guides and a company.  Under the leadership of Jeff Andersen, Toby Kvalevog, and the LOA writing team we see big things happening with On the Road with LOA.  Check out our latest episode which was up on Lake of the Woods filming giant monster pike through the ice.  

6. Jason Freed Takes Over as President of the Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Service - This winter Jason Freed took over the role of President of the LOA Guide Service.  Included in Jason’s role will be working to expand the guide service, bookings, as well as the overall management and marketing of Leisure Outdoor Adventures and all included entities.  We are excited about what Jason brings to the table and feel he is going to help take the LOA  to the next level within the fishing industry.  To go along with those duties, Jason will continue to work to explore additional promotional opportunities, as well as facilitating corporate events and large scale tournaments such as the Ice Castle Classic and the fishing portion of the  International Eel Pout Festival.

7. Fish House Rentals - New this winter was our fleet of fish houses that can be found on Leech Lake.  Even though Mother Nature threw us some miserable conditions at times, we still managed to have a successful season with the houses and renters.  We learned a lot about the ice rental business and are looking forward to taking that knowledge and making next winter even better.  Winter seems like a long ways off, but if you are looking for something fun to do when you come up to Walker, Minnesota next winter be sure to check out our fish houses.  Here is a video link to learn more about them.  

8. Lund Boats and Mercury Motors - Once again the LOA Guide team will be fishing out of the best boats in the fishing industry in Lund Boats equipped with Mercury Motors.  We have found that regardless of the model, both Lund and Mercury are guide tested and approved! They help us get from point A to B whether with clients or fishing tournaments. This season Toby will be running another 208GL Pro V with a 300HP Verado, Steve Olson will have the new 208 GL Tyee which is a really sharp looking boat, Jiggy and Chuck will be running their favorite boat in the 2010 Pro Guide equipped with the 200HP Verado, and Freed will be running a new 1975 Pro V with a 225 HP Verado. 

These are just a few things that we wanted to share.  2014 is shaping up to be a HUGE year for LOA and we couldn’t do it without the support of our clients, fans, friends, family, and partners.  Everyone has played a vital role from our humble beginnings, to where we are and where we want to go.  We sincerely thank you and can’t wait to spend time with everyone this spring, summer, and fall.  

Until then SET THE HOOK a few times and MAKE SOME MEMORIES!
The Leisure Outdoor Adventures Team

Leech Lake Walleye and Fishing Report

Stick and move, stick and move is a boxing reference that means, take your shot and move on and this analogy applies to Leech right now.  There are fish being caught, but be sure to move in, catch your fish and move on.  The fish are scattered, using various depths and willing to bite when you find them.  The assortment of presentations that are taking fish are equally as scattered.  While the jig and minnow combo reigns supreme, fish are being taking on a Live Bait Rig tipped with a minnow or crawler.  The LOA Guide Team jig of choice has been the new Kenkatch Tackle 3d eye jig and long shank jigs.  Finding good quality minnows will be a challenge so be willing to use shiners (both spottails and goldys work) and also rainbows as well.  Points to try include, Pine, Ottertail and the Hardwoods.  Play the wind and check various depths ranging from 8 ft all the way out to 14 ft.  Here are some fish from this weekends trips:

Jeff Koch with a big Leech Lake Walleye

LOA Fishing Guide Toby Kvalevog 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Mn Governors Opener on Gull Lake, an awesome memory in the books..

What an opener 2014 was!! At Leisure Outdoor Adventures, we've always said fishing is about the stories that unfold and memories that are forever cherished. With most of us playing hosts to several major media personalities and me under the microscope of taking the Lt Governor, this was sure to be a opener to remember.

The Pressure builds….
The pressure of the event was really low key leading up to this event. However, all this changed when the Lt Governor and I actually met on Thursday evening at the fishing host dinner. I shook her hand for the 1st time just prior to dinner, “Hello, I am Yvonne Prettner Solon, you can call me Yvonne. This will be my 4th Governors opener and I have yet to boat a walleye on opener and have never beat the Governor. I would really like to do so this year” she said with a gentle yet serious tone. Talk about straight to the point. Yvonne  then proceeds to show me a picture that had been posted on the press release that had myself and son Hunter Kvalevog posing with a big walleye we caught last year. “I would like to catch one this big, can we do that”? “Ummmmm, Sure!” I said with just enough confidence to give her hope, but now realized it’s time to step up my game. It was at this moment that I realized that Yvonne was definitely in it to win it! “Are we going to go out at 12AM? The Gov is going out at Midnight, so I would like to too”. I had originally thought there is no way that the Lt. Gov, a golfer by nature, would want to hit the water at Midnight, just to catch a fish before the Governor, I WAS WRONG!
My son Hunter Kvalevog and I holding a pic of a nice fish that the Lt. Governor wanted to beat. Below was her new expectations looking ahead to Saturday’s “Opener”.


With the my game plan of starting at 8 AM out the window, I had to hurry home to rig a few more rods for night fishing before hitting the hay. 5 AM radio interviews were scheduled out at Grand View Lodge (host site) to kick things into full swing. Not sure who let the cat out of the bag but every interview had the same theme, “So we hear that the Lt Gov is going to out fish the Gov”? Oooh boy! With every interview the knots in my stomach would pull just a little more. After a dozen or so radio and tv interviews it was off to school where some how I would have to keep my mind on students for the next 8 hours. Thank God for a great PE staff at Forestview Middle school; they had my back in this, just like the boys at LOA. Eventually that 3 PM bell rang, T-Minus 9 hours to go and it was off to the races!

The Itinerary for the day had me scheduled for two more interviews up in Nisswa at 4:05, with the Chamber, I had to hurry. While there, I had the pleasure to stop and breathe for a second and watch my son and the rest of the Forestview Middle School band play for Governor Dayton and the Lt Governor. Yvonne was kind enough to take a minute to pose for the group.

Yvonne Prettner Solon and the Forestview Band under the direction of Chuck Carlson at the Nisswa picnic Friday evening.

It was at 6 PM that I realized that I hadn’t even seen the boat that I was going to be fishing in. This years opener was sponsored by Larson boats, and being a Lund Pro Staff, I was not able to fish out of my new boat. So this was going to be a borrowed boat deal, and I didn't know what it was rigged with, or if it floated for that matter. After a quick call one of the organizers, I was set to meet the Larson Boats rep at the Grand View Lodge docks to see the boat and take a test spin.
Away from the docks, just me and the Larson, things were if for only a moment, NORMAL! It was also the moment that I was able to get a grip and realize that “I GOT THIS”!

Everything in the boat checked out. I was able to make a quick trip up towards the North end of the lake were the warmest water and current comes into the lake, “the Channel”. Water was 5 degrees warmer in the channel that the lake. With the spawn just getting going, I realized that this would be our best bet for midnight. I could anchor up and work a variety of techniques. It was 7 PM when I put the boat back on the lift, 5 hours until the BIG EVENT. I was headed home to load the truck and maybe catch a quick nap.

12 AM = GO TIME………….!!!
Joining me were Congressman Rick Nolan, Lt. Gov Yvonne Prettner Solon and her son Matt. With the boat loaded and last preparations being made, I could feel the buzz around the docks at Grandview. We were waiting on the Gov to return from Rochester. At 12:02AM  we met on the docks and had a formal press moment. We were all very excited to get going. Congressman Rick Nolan had the quote of the night. “Every day we spend fishing, adds a day to our lives”. I hope this is true, I should live to be 100 :) With countless interviews in the can and cameras pointed in our faces, the 2014 fishing opener for me began at roughly 12:15AM on Saturday morning on the docks of Grand View Lodge.   
With the anchor tied securely just off the edge of the channel edge on the mouth of Booming Out Bay. I opened the rod locker to discuss strategy. Without being able to “PRE-FISH” we would need to figure out what they (Walleye) wanted. Congressman Nolan would be in the back of the boat with a 1/8th ounce Jig and shiner. His job would be to work a shallow flat just behind the boat. Matt (Lt. Govs son) would be up front working a ¼ oz jig and Shiner. His task was to work a 12 foot hole of deeper water. Yvonne would try a slip bobber technique that had worked well in years past. With the education piece behind us it was time to catch em.

Before we could get our 3rd line in the water I hear the words I had been waiting 2 weeks for, “I GOT ONE” cries the Congressman. I didn't have the net out yet, It was pitch dark and brief pandemonium had struck! Mr. Nolan’s ice breaker walleye was about 18 inches and one HUGE relief for this guide. The Skunk Was out of the boat.


After a new minnow and another missed fish from the Congressman I knew I had to switch the Lt Governor to the same tactic, jig and shiner. On her 1st cast with the jig she yells, “I think I have one too!”. Sure enough, the light sound of a the drag and splashing next to the boat, we had something of sorts on. Even with a headlight, the dark water of the channel does not allow for a clue as to what might be pulling on the line. I remember praying, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t get off. After what seemed like an eternity, the fished surfaced near the side of the boat just out of nets reach. I had to lean way out into the darkness towards the glimmer of gold and was able to get a net under it.

One of the most memorable moments of my fishing career will always be that exact second when the deal was done, and all pressure was off. Yvonne had caught her fish and we had boated it before the Governor. She and I could not have been more happy. High fives and hugs were in order and it was truly an awesome moment for all of us.


The evening bite did not end there. Both the congressman and Matt struck again. Every member of Team Lt Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon scored on this magical night. Jigs and Shiners were definitely the deal. Around 2:30AM with the bite slowing to a few short strikes here and there, we decided to make our way back to the docks for a short rest before the morning trip.

Congressman Nolans second walleye of the night was just a little icing on the cake. A great night to be on Gull Lake.

Pressure was off….

Saturday morning was awesome! Our success the night before was the buzz amongst the media. The Lt. Governor was more than gracious in her credit to me for our success the night before. It was sure a lot easier to stand in front of the media having put a few fish in the boat already. The heat was all on the Governor now and Yvonne and I got to enjoy our morning on the water pressure free.  The morning fishing trip came and went without too much to report. Matt lost a pretty good fish towards the end and Yvonne had boated a perch. Pretty slow for Gull Lake standards, but our success was already in the books.

In the end the Lt Governor beat the Governor in her quest for the Governors Opener title. She was very humble in her victory and the Governor gracious in defeat. The real winner of 2014 was the Brainerd Lakes Area, Grand View Lodge, and many of the other resorts in the area that will reap the benefits of our event here in Lakes Country. Over 420 volunteers and an extreme amount of time and money went into this years event. Its not until you are part of something like this that you truly get it. This is SO much more than about a couple of politicians and their quest for a fish. The opener is really about showcasing  an area and the kick off to the tourism season. Fishing generates over 2.8 Billion dollars in revenue for the state of Minnesota and, for many, its a way of life. On behalf of myself and the rest of the team at Leisure Outdoor Adventures we say thank you to everyone involved.

Also, I would like to give a big shout out to Ray Gildow who had the task of hosting the Governor. Ray had twice the pressure as I and handled it like a true professional. Behind the scenes, Ray had several mechanical type issued to work through with some of the equipment he was required to use as a host. Through this diversity, he performed like a champion and gracious host. Well done Ray!

Guiding starts officially in a few days for this guy, look for the report soon!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fishing Opener Confessions - Is it the fish we are after?

Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues, Clients, People who I don't know that might stumble upon this blog. Tonight at the click of 12:00 am the 2014 Minnesota Fishing Opener will be upon us.  This is a start to a fishing guide's seasons.

The past few days, at the age of 35 just like every opener, I have had spouts of emotions that brings chills, hidden smiles, nerves, tears and very strong memories of fishing the opener with my father who is now in heaven. I am an angler/person that has so much passion (if you ask my friends sometimes it's a little much) for chasing fish, but is it really the fish we are after?  This is coming from a guy who has fished three days straight sleeping in the boat trying to catch the largest musky in Minnesota, a guy who can't sleep at night thinking about the fish that swim, a guy who spend hours upon hours studying maps trying to figure out the best spot to catch a fish and a guy who has built his life around the fish.  But I'm not too certain it's just the fish we are after?  Hear me out!

Last night I attended the 2014 Governors Opener Fishing Host meeting and I shook the hands of fellow fishing friends, our guide competitors, tournament anglers, and other fisherman from across MN to take apart in the annual event.  As I made the rounds talking and catching up, again consumed by emotions, but trying to hide them I found myself sitting across the table from the Leisure Outdoor Guide Team.  I looked at each one of these guys and thought how lucky we are to have such a strong team of guys who I know share the same passion as I do about this game of fishing.  We have several seasons together with many ups and downs, flat tires, that client that we just couldn't make happy, bad weather, amazingly good bites with giant fish, broken lines to the biggest fish of the season, high gas prices, broken stuff, arguments about who found the fish and many more but ultimately we share a strong camaraderie as a group.  

Then I heard the LT. Governor get up and speak about catching the biggest and most fish.  Lucky for her she will be sharing the boat with my co-owner of LOA, Toby Kvalevog.  I can't tell you how much Toby deserves this recognition.  Toby is by far one of the best anglers I get to share the boat with but that has nothing to do with why he deserves this honor.  He is as humble person, loves his family and is one of those guys that will always be there to help you, but has also worked his tail off in the fishing industry with pride and integrity.  Toby sat, in typical fashion, quite, reserved, and consumed with the pressure that is upon him.  He wouldn't admit that he is feeling it...trust me he would never admit that.  But, as he sat there quite he wasn't just sitting there.  He was making a game plan, networking, looking at the map, running through scenarios on how to get this job done.  He will!

Looking back I remember as a young man working at Bluewater Bait and Sports in Bemidji the Friday before fishing opener which was one of the top bait stores in the area.  Scooping minnows as fast as can, filling out license, talking strategy but not always the exact truth, and having these exact same emotions that I still experience today.  Tomorrow I will take three people fishing, build new friends, and drop them off at the dock.  I then will rush home, grab my 5 year old son, and share the boat with him.  A tradition that my father and I shared so many times.

The past few season's I haven't been able to share the fishing opener with my father.  As I reflect about those memories it wasn't about the fish we caught it was about the time we spent together.  I ask this one thing of you anglers, as you drive North to your destination, tie on your favorite jig, buy those lucky minnows from your favorite bait store, remember this, the fish may have brought us here but this game isn't about just the fish - it's about the memories that will be made!

God bless, good luck, be safe and make a memory!

Jeff "Jiggy"Andersen

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Leech Lake Ice Report 2014

We are getting prepped for the MN Fishing Opener 2014 and thought we would share an Ice Report of Leech Lake.  The main lake is pretty much completely open but still use caution when driving your boat.  Walker Bay still has a pretty good amount of ice.  With strong wind and rain in the forecast there is a chance it will move around and possibly melt or sink but there is still quite a bit.  Kabakona Bay is completely open but again please use caution.

Below are some pics from around the Walker Bay Area.

Jiggy Andersen

371 South Walker Bay

Ericksons Landing

Fishers Point Walker Bay

Kabekona Bay

Walker Public Access

Walker Public Access 2

Friday, May 2, 2014

Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener

For the second time in the last decade I have been asked to play a special part in one of Minnesota’s biggest holidays. I will be fishing with Lt. Gov Prettner Solon as a host in the 2014 Governor's Fishing opener hosted by Grand View Lodge on Gull Lake. This year will mark the 67th year of its occurrence.


Lt. Gov Prettner Solon buying her license back in 2012 doing her part to support and help kick off one of Minnesota’s biggest industries, the tourism season. Make sure you have yours prior to opener. Photo Credit  to https://mn.gov/governor/blog/?month=2012-04

The Governor’s Fishing Opener is a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was organized to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and now it serves as a kick-off celebration to the state’s summer tourism season. Fishing accounts for a large part of the state’s tourism economy. The sport brings in $11.3 billion every year or about $31 million each day.

The Leisure Outdoor Adventures guide team has volunteered to host media personalities to help spread the passion of hook, line and sinker through events that occur over a 12 hour period on this special day. Being a Brainerd based guide service we look forward to sharing our skill and equipment with the rest of the world in hopes of showcasing the wonderful resources here in the lakes area. Fishing is a very important part of summer Tourism and we are grateful to be able to promote it. Combined, our group has fished over 40 years in the area and Gull lake has seen the brunt of that action.

In 2008 Gov Tim Pawlenty came to the lakes area fished out of Breezy Point Resort on Pelican lake. On this occasion, Senator Norm Coleman and I were able to share a boat for part of the day. What an amazing experience that was. Norm was definitely into it. He brought his own tackle and pole that he had used for years before on opener. “Good Luck” had always graced him with his secret weapon. On this day, it didn't let him down either. After a few hours of catching everything but Willy the Walleye, Norm reached deep into his bag of tricks and found the perfect colored float / spinner combo. (HONESTLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT WAS). With a less than lively hunk of meat (dead shiner minnow) Norm quickly set the hook on a nice healthy 19 inch walleye. A instant story for me, and a great way to kick of the fishing season.


I am a believer in Fish Tales and Memories. It’s why our fishing opener is such a sacred occurrence. Every time you are on the water there is a story to be shared and one to be created. As a guide, we are very fortunate to be able to be part of many. SO what is in store for Lt Gov Prettner Solon? My guess is we will have quite a few stories and a few catches as well. In my experience the XX chromosomes share an unfair advantage over fisherman with a Y. Since my first date with my wife (Maggie), every time I share a boat with the ladies, I spend a lot more time netting fish then catching them. I have a theory that by nature, the ladies are much more patient and less fidgety. During the cold water period that surrounds opener, this is a great tip. A lot of fish will be lethargic and not necessarily interested in the fast motion presentations with a ton of action. Perhaps this year I will spend a little extra time getting in touch with my feminine side or it could be a lopsided affair for this fishing guide in this experience with our Lady Lt Governor. But as a gracious fishing guide, I will gladly bow out to the Lt Gov.

For more information on all the events related to this event and to read the official press release go to: http://www.explorebrainerdlakes.com/

On behalf of the entire Leisure Outdoor Adventures guide team we would like to wish everyone a safe 2014 fishing season and a BIG thank you to all of our participating sponsors that allow us to participate in these kinds of opportunities.

Tight Lines everyone!
Toby Kvalevog

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jigs, Jigs, and More Jigs!

Jigs, Jigs, and More Jigs!
By: Jason Freed
Leisure Outdoor Adventures

For decades, anglers across the country have said if they could have only one lure in their tackle box, it would be the ever-versatile jig.  What used to be the standard lead head jig that we all have thousands of in our tackle boxes or stashed away from Canadian trips, have since expanded into so many different shapes and colors of jigs that it can make a person’s head spin.  What they all have in common though is one simple thing and that is the fact that a jig has so many ways it can effectively be fished and yet continually produce results.  This versatility, combined with the evolution of the fishing industry, has allowed the angler to have an array of choices in their tackle box.  Jigs have diversity in sizes, shapes and colors and we here at LOA, feel that the jig is something that has to be part of every angler’s arsenal.  

With that arsenal of jigs at your fingertips, an angler needs to understand how to apply the concept and presentation of each individual jig to the situation he or she faces on the water.  Ask yourself when you get to the landing or look at the weather report the night before you venture to the lake. What is the wind going to be doing?  How deep do I think I will be fishing?  What kind of minnows might I be using?  As you dissect these questions and put together your vision for success, you can begin to identify which jigs will meet your needs for that day. 

The Set Up
The first and most important thing is to match your jig with the proper rod, reel, and line.  A common set up is a 6’-6’6” Medium Light action rod, partnered with a reel of your choice but something that isn’t big and bulky, one of my favorites is the Pflueger President 25 series, and 6-8lb mono or braid.  Both mono and braid will have advantages, and ultimately it comes down to preference.  Mono shines early in the season because of the added stretch, with many anglers choosing to use a high vis line to detect bites when the jig is eaten during its descent, which is by the far the most common strike of a walleye.  Braid can provide better hook sets and more sensitivity.  Go with what you are comfortable with, but also be prepared to switch things up. 

Picking Out the Right Jig 

When picking out the “magical” jig, take into consideration the type of bait you will be using.  Earlier in the season when shiners or rainbows are the bait of choice using a longer shank jig such as a KenKatch Wide Gap is the ticket because it allows you to do is hook a larger shiner or rainbow minnow through the gill and back up through the belly and spine of the minnow.  This helps your minnow last longer as you jig, fan cast, snap jig, and set the hook into walleye after walleye.  Where as a shorter shank will give your minnow a rolling or even tumbling action at times.   One piece of advice if you find yourself using a shorter shank jig with a larger minnow is attaching a stinger hook to help your hooking percentage. 

 Many anglers are caught up in the rainbow of colors and finishes that jigs come with.  Granted color can be a deciding factor, but initially pay closer attention to the profile and weight of the jig vs. the color.  It is the fall and cadence of your jigging stroke or motion that is provoking those weary walleyes into biting.  Instead, focus on using a lighter jig such as a 1/16th or 1/8th oz jig, which give you a slower descent with the jig, and swimming motion.  If you are fishing in a river or current situation, you will adapt with using a heavier jig to keep in contact with the bottom, such as a 3/8ths, 1/2oz, or even 3/4oz. 

Lastly, the profile of the jig can also play a role in your success.  An intricate detail such as this can be the “golden ticket” on those days where other anglers are struggling and stuck in their comfort zones.   It is important that you know your jigs and their motions inside and out, because that will dictate your jigging cadence and stroke.  Jigs with a vertical or stand up profile will depict a minnow feeding on the bottom as it dances and pops along the bottom.  Jigs that have a round head, such as the KenKatch 3D Eye Jig or the Marabou Jig will give you more of a swimming or leap frogging action across the water column. 

Effectively Using a Jig

Once you have your set up complete, begin utilizing various techniques and methods to your jigging madness, as this will help dictate what the walleyes want on that given day.  If you are working a specific piece of structure pitching jigs may be what you need to focus on doing, if you are working large expansive flats such as on Leech Lake, snap jigging is going to be a very effective way to search out active fish.  Once you have the fish located, begin to put the pieces of the puzzle together by changing up your jigging cadence to match the moods of the fish.  It is important that you create a mental journal of the cadence that is working and continue to hone it.  A great jig angler is a thing of beauty because they have their different cadences dialed in and are willing to change them up at any given moment.  If your partner is catching more fish, pay close attention to what jigging stroke he or she is using and then mimic it.  If that does not work then look at their line angle, which can simply be adjusted by dropping or raising your rod tip.  Also pay close attention to the time in between your jigging strokes after the jig has made contact with the bottom, sometimes that extra one, two, or even three seconds as it sits in the sand or weed pocket can be the difference between catching a just a few to putting your limits in the live well.  Whenever you are jig fishing, you have to note that casting is going to out produce the jig fisherman who is dangling the jig over the side of the boat, especially early in the season when fishing shallower structure.  Use your casts to determine fish location and movement. 

 Remember when putting this jig puzzle together it is all about putting all the right ingredients together to create the ultimate recipe for success.  So as you stare at your jig box looking for the perfect jig for this upcoming opener, think about all these factors and begin to put your own puzzle together, because there is nothing more gratifying than that. 

Good luck this 2014 Walleye Opener, Be Safe, and GET HOOKED!

A Helpful Tip from Leisure Outdoor Adventures

When cruising shallow flats, you will often times not mark fish on your sonar, instead turn on your side imaging.  With Lowrance HDS Series, the side imaging allows you to identify schools of fish that are off to the left or right of you giving you a distinct advantage and decreasing your time spent looking for fish.  

What are some of the favorite jigs of the LOA Guide Team and why?

Toby Kvalevog – KenKatch Wide Gap Jig – You are able to hook the minnow through the belly and out the back and still have, enough gap to not miss fish.

Jeff Andersen – KenKatch Hair Jig – The extra hair provides a larger profile with a slower drop, giving you the ability to use harder snaps with a slack line fall.

Jason Freed – KenKatch Banana Head Jig – Its one of a kind profile gives the jig a unique swimming and jig stroke that helps provoke walleyes into biting.    

Chuck Hasse – Northland Vegas Jig – This is my favorite jig because of the longer shank, color variations, and its proven production.

Jim Ernster – VMC Moon Eye Jig – Its long shank helps keep bait and plastics in place and the large eyes do a great job of mimicking a shiner’s eyes.

Tim Hanske – 3/16th oz Gopher Mushroom Jig – Fishes well at any depth and with a variety of plastics such as Berkley Gulp, which is one of my favorite things to fish for walleyes with.