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#51583 - 04/09/14 07:58 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
For much of the ice belt, open water is right around the corner, but we can take a little piece of ice fishing with us! Here's an article on the "little" things that make the biggest difference come open water season!

Go Small or Go Home - CLICK HERE

Who's ready for some springtime open water panfish?!

Enjoy! smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
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#51720 - 04/30/14 10:12 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN


We make mistakes as anglers, and oftentimes it’s those mistakes that make us better. We try certain tactics, tie on certain baits, fish certain spots, and sometimes no matter what you do things don’t seem to go your way. Don’t get discouraged. Bass fishing can be a game of “walking the tightrope,” where sometimes you have no choice but to focus to stay on path. Understanding that there are situations where you need to buckle down and take things slow in order to achieve a result can be the difference between falling off the rope and making it to your goal. So slow down, take a deep breath, and focus on the little things produce that big outcome...

Read the entire article... Bass On a Tightrope - CLICK HERE

Enjoy! smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#51849 - 05/27/14 12:13 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Hopefully everyone had a safe and fun Memorial weekend! Finally the weather cooperated for us in the Twin Cites... seems like every Memorial weekend we have rain and cold... tough to be 70s and 80s with sun! I hope you had a chance to enjoy it!

I spent some time on the water with the family as well as hit the MN bass opener on Saturday. The fish were acting "normal" and most fish (bass) were relating to the inside weed lines from what I could tell. We caught a lot of fish in that 3-6 foot range throwing wacky-rigs and swim baits. The new Mister Twister Poc'it Fry has been awesome for me and that's what I've caught most of my fish on the last couple days. Wacky-rigged and casting from distance seems to work the best. The fish are spooky so make sure you stay off the "hot spot" but instead cast over to it.

There were many reasons why this past weekend was so awesome. One, I got my whole family out in the boat, which included my youngest (Brody, 10 months) out for his first time! Two, I got to spend some time fishing with my two oldest (Jack, 6 years and Ben, just turned 3 years) just the three of us for the first time. And three, I caught my personal best bass! Here are some photos from the weekend...


Jack and Ben


Jack and Ben with a fish


My new PB at 7lb 5ozs!


So overall I can't complain about the weekend! Great company, great fishing and great weather! Looking forward to getting the boys out more in the near future as well! Jack had the hot-hand this weekend and out-fished all of us combined... I was definitely a proud dad!!

My next plan of attack is to continue focusing on those inside weed lines and also play with some of the expansive main lake points and flats. I didn't spend much time out in those areas this weekend but I know they are holding fish. Shallow cranks, spinner baits and swim baits are good options for these areas... and if you find pods of fish then slowing down with a wack-rig or jig-worm can definitely pay off. I do know it sure feels good to be targeting bass again!

Best of luck to everyone this week/weekend and be safe out there!
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#51851 - 05/27/14 01:41 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Mark Pothen Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 06/17/09
Posts: 1909
Loc: Mounds View, Mn.
Matt,

That thing is a beast. Congrats

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#51854 - 05/27/14 03:20 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Shane Hendricks Offline
TB Moderator

Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 1820
Loc: St. Paul, MN
Congrats on the new PB and getting the family out Matt!
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Shane E. Hendricks - AKA Sandmannd

Proud to be a Moderator of Thorne Bros
Shane@uppermidwestoutdoors.com
www.uppermidwestoutdoors.com

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#52031 - 06/17/14 09:08 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN


The question comes up often—and who can blame—about “if you could only pick one presentation for bass fishing what would it be?” I’m sure this question is different for everyone and can sometimes be determined on the body of water most frequented or the region you’re fishing in. The answer might be a swim bait for those anglers looking to target giant California bass, or it might be a live Redtail minnow for those searching for trophy smallmouth bass on the Mississippi River, but regardless of the answer, confidence plays an important role. For me, confidence comes in the form of “being easy,” not just in terms of catching fish, but easy for friends and clients to use and catch fish on as well. And when you’re talking about an easy, productive option from spring to fall, you’re talking about the infamous wacky rig...

Read the entire article... Keeping it Wacky - CLICK HERE

Enjoy! smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#52100 - 06/24/14 02:13 PM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Instability... yep, that pretty much sums up the fishing the last week or so. One fish here, one fish there, keep moving, moving, moving. I've had a heck of a time nailing down a pattern lately. We've been catching some fish, but nothing consistent in regards to a location and/or pattern. One fish will come off a deep point on a crankbait... then another fish will come off a shallow flat with a buzzbait... then an inside weed line wacky-rig... then a spinnerbait burned over the weeds... I think you get the picture. I'm sure the weather hasn't helped either, with t-storms and heavy rains, only adding to the high water. No wake restrictions make it tough to move around too. I feel bad for the lakeshore owners and resorts, something needs to give and these water levels need to drop.

All that being said though, the fish we have been catching are nice. Can't complain about the average lately. I'm hoping this average continues once the fish start to stack up and school more. I plan to see how that develops this week out on Minnetonka and the Chisago Chain. Should have something to report on both by the first part of next week.

Did hit Waconia for the first time this year. There was no wake restriction out there as of Friday (although they are darn close) and we managed to find a few fish, but again, a very sporadic bite. Here's one good one that came out deep...



Otherwise it was run-and-gun all morning to stay on a few fish. My two-cents right now: Run a spinnerbait over the weed tops if it allows, then don't be afraid to flip into the weed pockets already, seems to be the only glimpse of a pattern right now. Jig worms should be more common soon as well.

If you want action though, then toss spinnerbait for pike on the outside weed lines... they seem to be all over!

I'm looking forward to a more stable pattern, and rest-assured it will come. Better things are on their way and keep the lakeshore owners in your thoughts and prayers.

Good luck out there!
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#52136 - 06/30/14 10:32 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN


When we think of drop-shotting, we typically think of vertical, finesse fishing over a rock pile or piece of isolated structure. Or maybe even a tactic used to pick-off schooling smallmouth bass along expansive flats. Drop-shotting is without a doubt an effective way to deploy a finesse presentation. But what about casting—or pitching—a drop-shot presentation? Why be limited to fishing this rig vertically when covering water can be just as fun… this is where “pitching drop-shots” comes into play and can have a place when targeting a variety of species...

Read the entire article... Pitching Drop-Shots - CLICK HERE

Enjoy! smile
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#52337 - 08/08/14 09:04 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Is it August already?! Man this summer is flying by! Good news though, fishing has been consistent and good! Bass are doing the right thing and staging on deep edge, rocks and points, along with sucking into the milfoil. More predictable now than a few weeks ago! Jig worms, crankbaits, drop-shots, rock jigs and of course the weed jig for punching through heavy cover. Some fish still coming off docks with wacky-rigs but I've been finding most of our larger/consistent fish out deeper holding on weed/rock combo areas. Crankbaits have accounted for a lot of fish too... fun to pull them on on cranks! If you want the easiest approach though then I would just tie on a jig worm and have at it, fish are biting!

For panfish, a ton of fish on the outside weed lines right now. You can have a field day catching sunfish and crappies--more sunfish though. Plastics and 1/32oz or 1/16oz jigs, no need for a bobber, just vertical jig on the outside weed line and you'll get bit! You can of course pitch around the shallows and catch some panfish right now too, but I would move out deeper for the consistent larger fish. If you have large weed flats with obvious pockets then fish those areas too.

Got to spend some time in the boat for the Lefites Lunkers Pro-Am on Tonka this week and was fortunate enough to fish with Chris Parmelee from the MN Twins. Great guy and the event was for a great cause. All proceeds went to Leukemia Lymphoma...





It was a great time and the fish cooperated nicely!

Looks like some nice weather ahead of us and for those looking to fish this weekend you will definitely enjoy it! I think I'm heading back to the river then next week will be Tonka and Forest Lake on the agenda!

Good luck out there and be safe!
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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#52926 - 02/20/15 09:34 AM Re: Recent Reports and Pictures [Re: Matt Johnson]
Matt Johnson Offline
Thorne Bros Pro Staff

Registered: 09/18/06
Posts: 3817
Loc: Ramsey, MN
Fishing has continued to stay consistent. A little more "hunkering" down and a little less moving but you still need to make some moves to stay on the fish and keep them coming up the hole. My IceArmor has been getting a workout the last couple weeks, no doubt about it!

One thing that has continued to remain true is that they fish are relating to the weeds. That hasn't changed, especially for the big fish. A lot of fish (and anglers) continue to pound the deeper holes and basins--and will continue to catch fish--but I'm still finding larger fish relating to weeds, sometimes as shallow as 4-6 feet inside pockets and depressions amongst expansive weed flats. Tougher to stay on these fish in colder conditions but the fish are still there. If you're looking for a numbers game then camping out over deeper water is the ticket though.

One thing I've noticed this year for the walleye bite is that most of my productive fishing windows have been at sunrise, and not sunset. Usually it's the other way around for me in the Metro but this year my best walleye bites have consistently come in the morning hours. I think it has to do with more light penetration because of lack of snow cover, causing a quicker flurry when the sun comes up. Also the light penetration continues all day long so there is some stability as we move into sunset, unlike sunrise, where the fish are used to it being dark instead of excess light. Who knows though, just a theory but it seems to hold true for me this year...

Otherwise the panfish activity continues to keep us busy. Haven't had a banner year for big fish but a lot of decent averages it seems. Plastics continue to out-produce live bait for me and keeping things moving is the ticket. I even made a couple trips to Independence to chase the crappie rumors and had fun catching a bunch of fish, but they are definitely not as big as everyone is preaching wink Still a lot of fun and it was cool to spend some time learning a new lake that I haven't fish in a while.

One more weekend of walleye fishing for me and then it's complete focus on panfish (and maybe a few catfish wink ) from here on out!!

Good luck out there and be safe!
_________________________
Good Fishin,
Matt Johnson
Guided Open Water and Ice Fishing
www.MattJohnsonOutdoors.com

Ice Team - "Join the Team!"
www.IceTeam.com

Ultimate Panfish League
www.UltimatePanfishLeague.com

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