Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Pipestone Lake Report, June 20-27th, 2009

Yet again a great time was had at Pipestone Lodge!! Just as in past years the place was great, the food was awesome, the friends were spectacular and the fishing was OFF THE CHARTS!
Our main fish was , of course, smallmouth bass. The shallows were packed with them in certain areas. We also caught some really decent pike, a muskie or two and even the occasional walleye.
A strange thing happened this year. We had a late spring so the water temps were in the high 50's a couple weeks prior and shot up to 72-74 by the time we got there. That meant that almost every fish in the lake was prowling the shoreline.
Another strange thing was the " Beaver Hut Phenomenon". With young-of-the-year perch just schooling up around the beaver huts, it was common to see smallies, pike, HUGE schools of walleyes and several muskies stationed at each and every beaver hut on the lake. I've never seen it before. A muskie sitting there next to a smallie, next to 3 pike, all surrounded by 18-24" walleyes in 3' of gin clear water on a sunny day right under the boat!
I fished solo this trip, which was a total change and a birthday present to myself. I took my pictures with a set-up of a Canon A-95 Powershot camera with a flip-out screen (so you can see yourself), a Joby "Gorillapod" tripod, and a 10 second timer setting on the camera. With a couple practice shots and a good routine in the boat I was able to lift the fish for about 12 seconds and have it back in the water. I recommend that if you fish solo you try the same set-up.
So...anyway, pictures tell a thousand words. Here's what I got by throwing some whacky rigged Senkos, Mepp's #4's and Husky Jerks. Enjoy!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

HOLY #%$@!!!!!!! 4-13-08

Mike and i had some very limited time yesterday so we ran over to Lake W. For those who are new to the reports, lake W is a large retention pond that is about 25' deep, 100 acres, and has several storm drain pipes coming into it as well as a crrek. There is always a current to be found as this small lake could technically be classified as a flowage. So when you hear us talk about Lake W, all you need to do is find a retention pond that fits the bill. And they are EVERYWHERE! Just look around your neighborhood.

We threw a few different lures in the half hour we fished. I got 2 average size bass (13-15") on a Rapala Husky jerk (twitch,twitch,twitch...just like i wrote in previous reports). I also got one on a Lucky Craft Pointer (again...twitch twitch.).
BUT..the King Of The Ring was yet again Savage Gear's Rattle Shad!!
We concentrated on an incoming pipe that had water pushing out of it at high speed due to the recent rains. The bass were lined up waiting for anything to move.
Here's a couple shots of the dozen or so fish we caught in 30 minutes.
Now go find some incoming water and fish within 10' of the flow. Trust're gonna score right now! These fish don't really care about the cold front. They know exactly ONE thing now: Feed and get ready to spawn.

The monster largemouth and the monster smallmouth were caught by Mike on back to back consecutive casts! He was using the technique of holding the bait in the current and letting the water do the work.

This is a shot of Mike's monster largemouth being held by me. I'm posting this just to give it a different perspective in relation to size. let me stress that I DID NOT catch it. Mike was king of the hill yesterday. I'm not even gonna bother putting up my shots because they are not impressive next to Mike's.

( We apologize for the use of the camera phone. We had a little mix-up and forgot any one of the 3 cameras we use. Basically we were rushing and totally clowned it! Lesson to us all, eh?)

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New secret weapon #1. Savage Gear.

As you know, we at Customfish always try to stay on top of the big rock candy mountain by getting our hands on new weapons of mass destruction that no one else has yet. And we just got a new weapon. I suggest you hide the children.
Savage Gear is a going to be making their presence known here in the U.S., and based on what we saw in the first 5 minutes of throwing their Rattle Shad we are extremely impressed!
As you'll see by their site, they are huge in Europe. We're guessing they are gonna be huge here as well.
Our first thought was to get our greedy little paws on their bigger baits and run them thru the gauntlet on Great Slave this june while catching a couple thousand monster pike. That's still gonna happen, so stay tuned for that upcoming report. BUT, in the meantime we have decided to run them thru the local gaunlet in search of cold water bass.
I'll sum it up this way:
2 casts. That's all it took. 2 casts til the Rattle Shad got hammered!

Now, that isn't to bad considering we were dealing with a 45 degree outside temperature and high winds. All we had to do was burn the bait in and it got hammered regularly on this short trip.

Mike joined me for a few minutes and quickly landed 3 nice bass and missed a couple more.
At one point Mike's Rattle Shad got hung up. Normally you chalk it up as a loss and keep going. But when you have a HOT bait that's working, you have to go to extremes to keep the mojo going.

How cold is that water, Mike?

Did we try other baits? Yes. We tried the Husky jerk, Rattle Trap, Storm Subwart, a Chatterbait and the Swimmin' Charlie. All of them, as you know, are standard weapons in our boxes. On this trip none of them shined thus proving that our success with the Savage Gear was no fluke. As soon as we tied on the Rattle Shads again we were back on the fish.
Our final numbers for this short-after-work trip were 3 largemouth bass for Mike and 8 for me.

Savage Gear lures will be available soon in local retailers. We suggest you get a few if you want to keep up.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Good "Muskie" Head (prints) By Jamie

ONce in a while we at Customfish do something special. Sometimes we do our own prints as well.
This series of Muskie Prints are offered for a limited time.
The muskie was caught and released by Customfish field reporter Rich Delaney. Photography and artist rendition by Jamie Riani. Each will be signed and numbered with a maximum of 50 prints for each version.
Size is 18" x 24". Framed in a classic wooden fame.

" Mean Green " watercolor

" Midnight Muskie " in grained cyan

" Gold assassin" in gold fleck

Price: $75 for 1
$125 for a set of 2
$150 for the full set of
*plus shipping (UPS ground service)

This is a limited time offer. Please contact to place an order for christmas.

*All work trademarked

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Ok folks, it's a wrap!"


I'm calling it. Time of death for the 2007 fishing season was at 2:15pm on saturday the 17th of November, 2007. With the trade show season coming up and an ever increasing workload, I don't see us getting out again til January. Plus, I believe in the old saying "you better quit while you're ahead."
And what a nice ending it was. Cold. Raining. Windy. Miserable 42 degrees for a high and water temps in the high 40's.
I said to Ken on our way "We're ending on a high note. one of us has to get a trophy". Now, keep in mind our idea of a trophy is 20" or better. To everyone else it's 18". We do 18" alot. So to be fair to ourselves it's 20" for team Customfish.
As we pulled up to our regular parking spot we were greeted by a nice buck and a couple does in the distance. We took that as a good omen.
While the fishing was far from spectacular we did manage to reach our goal and end the year just as we said we would. A couple hours hopping spots and the final numbers were 2 smallmouth bass and 2 hybrid greengills for me. 7 largemouth bass, 1 smallmouth bass and a couple hybrid greengills for Ken.
Live bait is the key. Shiners under a slip bobber with #1 or #2 circle hooks set about 2-3' down.

Ken with a nice start.

Yet another big largemouth, one of many. But it was smallies we were looking for.

Found 'em! A perfect ending to the season. 20" Spike-fin Smallmouth Bass. I was king for about half an hour....until Ken decided to pull out the trump card on me about 50 yards away!

20", baby. Ken closes out with the 20" Spike-fin Smallie we said we'd get. Just like clockwork.

As I said, we were using shiners but I think 6" long bullfrogs would have worked too considering what my big spike-fin smallie gave back to me while I was unhooking it. Yuck!

Sorry I had to show that to you, but it just goes to show ya what a hungry bass will eat....a 6" bullfrog AND a 3" shiner at the same time. Oh..and she'll hit twice!
I should explain that. THIS IS A FIRST IN ILLINOIS SMALLMOUTH BASS FISHING HISTORY! Go back and look at the spike-fin smallies Ken and I caught. Look really close. I caught mine, and then Ken caught his 30 minutes later and 50 yards downstream. Mine was hooked in the top lip AND spit out a 6" bullfrog at me. She cleared the water once on a jump. Ken's fish ALSO cleared the water on a jump. Both were spectacular fights!
UMMM..It's the same fish!!! I just noticed that as I was writing this post! We caught the SAME trophy spike-fin smallmouth bass within half an hour and 50 yards of each other! No one has EVER done that..not in Illinois anyway. That is just NUTS! What a wild ending to a wild, unbelievable and awesome year! Beat THAT, my fellow ISA anglers!!!!
On another note, Ken and I will be hiring a little person to follow us around all of next year with the sole purpose of holding our fish in photos. When you are as Andre-The-Giant-size as we seem to be, the big fish we get don't look so big. Effective today we'll be accepting applications from little people.

So...that's it folks. It's a wrap.
We'd like to thank everyone who fished with us this season. You were all great. We also would like to thank all of our readers and customers. Be sure to stop by the Chicago Musky Show and say Hi!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Try the veal...and don't forget to tip your waitresses! Good night!

Please keep checking in because even though we're gonna be setting the poles down for a little while, we'll still be putting stuff up here and we're changing the entire site with some BIG surprises.

* Jamie's hat by

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~><))))*> more thing.
My son was thrilled with his latest catch on his snoopy pole. I guess he's just like his old man; Go big or go home. There aint no room for dinks!
Nice going son....even if it did come out of the little lake in our backyard.

I gotta send that to these guys.

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