Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We like catching Big Ones!

It's times like this that being a Fishing Guide Service on the many great lakes that Minnesota has to offer like, Leech, Gull, Whitefish, Cass, Pelican, makes our job so much fun.  The fish have been on the feed bag!

The fish are now just starting to move into there summer patterns.  Our guides have been pulling spinners on the main lake rocks.  Each day is a new day fishing so depths have varied from 8 to 18 feet.  The mayfly hatch is just starting to get underway so speed and covering water is the name of the game.  The guys have been using the new Bigtooth Sideliner MP-20 Planer-Boards to get their baits away from the boat.  Look for bait is also very key.

Hawg belly central located below!  A few photos from the guys in the past week.

Call us at 1-855-562-4665


Monday, June 16, 2014

The Ancitipation of a Guided Fishing Trip

There is something to be said about the special bonds and memories that are made over years of fishing and time on the water. The following is a blog composed by Mark Kirschner, long time LOA friend and client as he eagerly awaits this coming weekends guide trips. It paints the picture of the anticipation leading up to a monster Walleye trip in LOA country.
Mark's Story....
So I sit here on Father’s Day, one week before my semi-annual trip with my son to Leech Lake to fish with
my friend and world class guide Toby, excited for the trip, yet knowing this will be one of the LONGEST weeks of my life just waiting to load up and head North.
When I was a kid, my family often took a week long summer fishing trip to Minnesota, usually spending a week in a cabin on Lake Winni, once to Lake of the Woods.  It was a fun week for a “city” kid spending a week in a cabin “roughing it” as my dad would say, fishing, cleaning fish in a screened cleaning hut, no TV, to bed early, up early, actually enjoying each other and the peace and quiet of the lake country.  
Those trips stopped as I got older, became a typical teenager and wanted nothing to do with a vacation with my parents, we got busy with school, sports, etc.  Then many years later I rediscovered the beauty of Minnesota lake life when my youngest daughter began visiting a summer camp in Nisswa with a friend.  Those trips soon turned into extended trips before or after camp with parts or all of our family.  Now as my kids have gotten older (the youngest turning 21 next month), those trips have again become difficult to get the entire family headed in one direction at the same time with school, jobs, and the like.
However, what HAS become a tradition that I hold dearly is a late June and a late September fishing weekend with my son (26 now) to Leech Lake to fish with Toby and stay at Chase on the Lake. These are so important to me that I book our June trips in early January and our September trip as soon as we leave in June, just to be able to get on Toby’s calendar and to be fishing at what we have determined to be the best times of the year for walleye. When you drive 10+ hours from home and have a few precious weekends per year to spend quality time on the water with your son, fishing for what we consider to be our favorite fish to catch, I want to make sure I maximize our chances for success.  Sure we fish plenty of day trips close to home for bass, whites and crappie, but fishing for walleye in Minnesota is our passion.
So as we’ve been at this for several years now, and as it gets more and more difficult to schedule around
my adult son’s schedule and commitments, I realize that as much as I enjoyed my time as a child fishing with my dad, that he likely enjoyed it ten times as much as I did.  It’s funny the things that you are able to see through your parents eyes as you become a parent. My dad turned 90 this year and I’d bet you he could still tell me every detail of those fishing trips to Lake Winni 40+ years ago. I can only hope that I helped make those trips as memorable to him as my son does for me. When not with Toby, my son Matt is my full time fishing partner, guide and expert.
So as I get things ready at both work and home to be away for a few days, this will certainly be one of THE longest weeks of my year as I wait to get in car and head North later this week.  
For all of our guides what motivates us all year long is this anticipation that our clients have that causes them to count down the days on the calendar for when they come North to fish with us.  It this very thing that drives us to jump out of bed early on a summer morning and makes us eager with excitement as we put our boats in the water geared up for another memorable day.  As a guide service we are about being first class and giving people the ultimate experience.  So many of our customers are like Mark and constantly are thinking about their next trip back to the North Country.  For some it is about that father/son trip, family outings, and so many other bonds and friendships that give people the opportunity to spend the day in the boat together.  For these people, we know that this is "their day, their time on the water, their chance to make a memory".  It is this that motivates us as Leisure Outdoor Adventures Fishing Guides all year long.  The goal and mission each and every trip is to make it special and one that our customers and clients will forever remember from the time they book with us on the phone to the hand shake at the dock, the fish coming over the side of the boat, the first walleye ever caught, personal bests, and the final laughs, memories, and good byes from another awesome day on the water.
We want to personally thank Mark and all of our customers both long time and new for giving us the opportunity to make your trip one that is full of hook sets and memories!  We want to thank you if you have already fished with us this year and if you haven't we can't wait to see you.
The Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just Fishin'

Growing up, some of the best times of my childhood were spent in a 15ft long, by 4 foot wide confined area with my dad. Jigheads, loose line, tackle trays, coffee stains, nightcrawler stains, melting bottles of SPF 50, empty coke cans,full coke cans, life jackets, rain jackets, jacket-jackets, and lunch boxes littered the inside enough to make me wonder how the two of us even had room to move. I think about those times and how many hours were spent talking about all the things most important in life. Who's pitching tonight for the Twins? What color of spinner we should try next? The limit of walleyes the neighbors'-uncles'-brother caught in this spot just a short few days prior, and why we couldn't catch em.  Countless conversations, actions and time and restrictions to move..... spent just fishin' with my dad. Those were the memories that sculpted much of who I am today. Those times, good fishing or bad....great weather or rain, are the days I will cherish until my final cast.

I now try to carry on that same experience with my two boys.  "Don't touch that button on the depth finder", "How was school today?" or "No, Brad.......a Muskie will not eat your leg while you are swimming at the beach" take the place of the exact same conversations I had with my dad when I was his age. Even though the times, boats, and technology has changed, the conversations and experiences are still exactly the same.  It's that quality time spent on the water "just fishin" and the experience that in a way shapes our lives to an extent.  As you read this, many of you will get exactly what I am explaining.  For some, maybe they were not fortunate enough to be able to experience the same memories that I was able to.  Those who have not, just remember....its not too late.  For many, there is still that chance to start now.  It can be as simple, or as advanced as you want make it.

I recently had the opportunity to guide four brothers and their dad on Leech Lake.  This trip was booked back in March by a friend of mine from home.  He called me and said, "I know it's early in the year, but I want to book a trip with you in June with my brothers, AND my dad."   At first, I didn't think too deep and just wrote it down in my calendar.  About a week prior to the trip, we conversed again and set up a game plan, meeting time and finalized their trip. I could tell how excited they were to get up here and on the water. It was after I hung up that it hit me.  This was not just another guided fishing trip for them. This wasn't about coming to Leech Lake because that's where they thought their best chances of catching fish was. This was a trip all about getting together, and most importantly...getting together with their dad.  Just the four of them sharing the same exact thing. The fact that they wanted me to share that experience with them is something that makes my job as a fishing guide so incredibly great.  For that day, I was leaned upon to make sure that their experience was as comfortable, first class and special as absolute possible. A few days passed now since the trip, and looking back it wouldn't have mattered if we hadn't caught a single fish.  There was bickering, arguing, antagonizing, horseplay, and as many smiles as I had ever seen in a single fishing trip.  At times, I just ran the motor and watched.  The rest was filled with taking pictures and videos of fish, fish that were supported by 8 arms.  Not because they were that big, but because the other arms were on shoulders of the angler who caught it. As the day ended, I was certain they had just made a memory that they will remember forever.

 As Father's Day comes up this weekend, I challenge each and every one of you to spend that special time in the boat or on the water with your father or children.  It doesn't even have to be on Father's Day or this weekend for that matter.  Circle a day on the calendar, and make a plan.  Use your boat, your dad's boat, rent a boat or hire a guide.  It really will not matter how you do it, but THAT you do it.  A few short hours, a half a day, or a week long trip, regardless of the timeframe, might just make a memorable experience for you, your kids, or your father that will live on forever.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Leech Lake Fishing Report

Leech Lake Fishing Report
Dave Osborne and the Boys with a Beauty!

Well summer seems to finally be setting in in the Walker Area and that means the fish are starting to adjust as well.  Fishing was good this past week with a variety of presentations working which makes it fun for anglers as they hit the water.  Whether you like to use a jig and a shiner or a lindy rig and crawler or leech you can catch fish throughout Leech Lake with a variety of methods.  Pitching jigs towards windblown shoreline breaks and points is still working, or using it as a search method as you fan cast on expansive flats.  Shiners are still producing the best on a long shank Ken Katch jig with green or gold being great colors.  As the week went on pulling crawlers on a lindy rig or with slow death or a lindy rig and leech began to produce alot of fish. Depending on the day the walleyes seemed to like crawlers or leeches better.  Speed was the key with both presentations and it seemed typically .6-.8 mph produced the best results.  Wind blown shorelines, points, and rocks are producing good amounts of fish along with expansive flats, which can be intimidating to many folk.  When working these areas the key is to move around, even at times making circles and marking fish as you see them.  Eventually you are able to hone in on the way points and eliminate alot of dead space.  West Goose Flats, Duck Point, Ottertail, Hardwoods, throughout Sucker Bay, and up into Portage Bay have all been solid producers throughout the week with the best depths being 9-14 feet.  Keep moving until you find active fish.  As the weather warms the fishing is going to get better and better this month!  

Also a congrats goes out to Joe Andersen and Aaron Templin on their top ten finishes in the Kraus Anderson Walleye Classic.

If you are looking to book a guided fishing trip on one of the greatest lakes in the Minnesota be sure to give the boys at LOA a call.  We would love to hit the water with you and make some memories.

Leisure Outdoor Adventures

A Few other pics from the week:

Freed and Grant Mussman.  Grant's smile says it all!

The Larson Crew with a nice stringer

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A family day on the water

I have shared the boat with many people over the last 11 years of guiding.  Many who I continue to fish with every year, and I consider them my friends.  However I love sharing the boat with my wife Kaarin and my two boys, Gus (3) and Levi (1.) the best.  Last week I had a day off and it was to nice NOT to go out on the boat, so the journey began…

They don’t teach you in parenting class the about little “big” things, for instance…it will take at least one hour to get everything packed up and you may as well not lock the door because it is almost guaranteed you will be going back in.  Anyways, we made sure we had sunscreen, snacks, juice, water, toys, books, stuffed animals, diapers, and so on.  We made it off the driveway, and my son proceeds to tell me there is a boat behind us all the way to the landing.

With naptime looming, we launched the boat and loaded it with a house full of gear.  We made it away from the dock without too many problems, and I had Gus sit in my lap as we went for a boat ride.  Gus absolutely loved driving the boat and his smile showed it.  After the boat ride it was time to see if we could catch a fish so the boys could see.  I gave Kaarin a pole and she started casting/watching Levi, and I took Gus to the bow. 

I was casting for Gus and he would reel in, every cast I was hoping for a bite and I think he just thought it was fun.  Meanwhile, Kaarin had her hands full but she was getting a few casts in.  I watched her set the hook, and I could tell it was a big bass.  After a short battle and one nice jump at the boat…she lost itJ.  I will never forget what she said right after that…”DARNET!  I actually WANTED to catch that one.” 

Gus and I managed to catch a few crappies and sunfish, however the allure of the bait well and snacks soon took its grip.  We (I) fished a little longer, and then naptime caught up with us.  Here is the scene…tiny little bay with about 15 other boats in it.  Gus started crying (not quietly) because of three-year-old drama, and Levi was screaming because…I don’t know why.  So on this peaceful, sunny day, I have a boat full of screaming boys and everyone looking at us.  I wouldn’t trade it for the word!

The boys fell asleep before the boat was on the trailer, and it was all-good.  I’m pretty sure the boys will not remember this day precisely, however, I had so much fun even with the crying.  These days don’t last forever, and I tried my best to soak this one up completely!  All that day, and still quite frequently I think about the special experience I got to have with my family, in my “office.”  I love it, and it makes me excited to be back in the boat with my family ASAP!