Mississippi River Walleyes and Saugers in Winter


– Alright, team! Charge! This is unbelievable. Hey! You know something? I’m gonna tell you something. This is what it’s all about. We eat, fish eat. Look at the mouth
on that (gun shot). (laughing) Larry Smith Outdoors is
brought to you in part by: The Badger Sportsman Magazine, Big Snow Resort, Jiffy Ice Drills, Cold Snap Outdoors, Hard and Soft Fishing, Bartlein Barrels, and Deep Freeze Ice Fishing. And, remember, it’s a
great day to be alive. Hey, this week on
Larry Smith Outdoors, we’re up fishing
the Mississippi, and we’re fishing with my
good friend, Brett King. Hey, Brett, how’s it going?
– Larry, good, how you doing? – [Larry] I’m doing good. You know what? I love river fishing, and
I’ll tell ya something, one thing I love about
fishing with this guy, he always schools
me, all the time. And you know, for a guy like
me that fishes every day, it’s very intriguing to
fish with a guy like this. Because, you know what? I’m always watching
everything that he’s doing, and I always say that
when it comes to fishing, you never know it all and
you’re always learning. That’s a nice part about
fishing with a guy like Brett. The bad part about
it is that normally, when we come and fish
with guys from Minnesota, we really give them a hard time. But, we kinda gotta
take it easy on him, because I don’t want to
eat a lot of humble pie. So, hey, Brett, what are
we gonna be doing today? – You know, we’re
gonna go up, we’ve got abnormally high water
for this time of year, I mean, the conditions
are totally different than you’ve ever seen
here, this time of year. The water’s still very dirty. It’s way higher than normal. We’re going to go off and fish, actually, like I
would do in April. – [Larry] So, it’s
kinda like Spring, that’s how high the water is. – It is, very, much like Spring. We had six inches of rain,
North, a couple weeks back, and it brought it
up about six feet. So, it actually took a while
to kinda dial the pattern in. Just because, you get
caught in your ruts, Larry, and you fish like you’d
normally fish this time of year. – [Larry] Right, for sure. – We’re going to go up, and we’re going to
pull Dubuque rigs. You know me, I love my plastics. – [Larry] Yes, you do. – The water is cold,
it’s about 37 degrees. So, we’re going to go up, we’re going to
pull Dubuque rigs, a heavy jig on the
bottom, big paddle tail, long shake hook on top
with a ring worm on it, and we should catch some fish. – [Larry] That sounds good. Is there any chance I’m
gonna be able to use some Kalins, and
catch some fish? – You should be able to catch
some fish on Kalins as well. – That sounds awesome,
because you know I am a plastics guy, too,
not as heavy as you are. I do like to use the live bait
still, myself, and plastics, but I know you’re pretty much, strictly a plastics
guy, 90% of the time. – I’ve got some
minnows in the boat, just as a backup, but
I highly doubt I’ll get my hands wet
getting one today. – Okay, that’s the nice part. Hey, alright. Let’s see what happens, and
let’s go catch some fish. I’m excited! – That’s good. – Let’s do it! – You ever go 60 miles an
hour in a tailer, Larry? – Nope, I can only get
about 52 out of mine. – Wait til the winds
sail, it’s coming. – (lauging) So we’re not
going that fast today? Good, I was hoping you weren’t going to go that
fast (laughing). – [Voiceover] Badger
Sportsman Magazine. The premier outdoor magazine. Published in Osh Kosh, and
written by Wisconsin Sportsmen, for Wisconsin Sportsmen. Get the most out of your time,
in the woods or on the water. Subscribe to Badger
Sportsman Magazine, today. The magazine makes
a great gift idea. Go to Badger Sportsman
Magazine slash Holiday Special, and save while you
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put the world on ice. – We’re pushing
between two wing-nails. – Okay. – Actually, I’m going right
over this one, right now. – Okay. – So, with the high water,
there’s a hump in here. – Okay. – And, there’s a
deep trough out, and a deep trough in, and as this water’s up,
there’s a secondary current seam off the front one, and they’ve been hanging out inside here, but now as
the water’s dropping, and the current’s going
down, we’ll start sliding out working this
outside one as well. – Is there a lot of
big rocks in here, besides the wing-dam, that these fish are
sitting in that current? – No, there’s some gravel
on this hump in here. But, for the most part,
it’s sand, which is a lot of what they hang
out on this time of year. – I told you! He’s unbelievable! – Little walleye. – I want that rod. – I’ll trade ya (laughing). – I know, I’m not doing it
(laughing), I know what happens. I know he would never
put gas on my baits, but, I always, just for a
mental thought, just to know, because he always
out-fishes me so bad, I just want to make sure. You know, you never know! – I would never do that to you. – Right, I know he’d
never do that to me, but I gotta do it, I
just have to check, because something’s
just not right. Hey, it’s a fish. – It’s a start, right? – It’s a start. You gotta start somewhere. – Yep. – Just a nice little Walleye. I got one. Hey, guess what? Right now, we’re tied. (laughing) Let’s go in. – Well, you’re up on me. – Let’s go in, I’ve
got two to one. Oh, a little fat little
Sauger, I like that. Now, look at the
difference in the color. I always think that’s
so darn cool about fishing over here,
is that the Saugers, look how fat the
things are, too. Here we go. – Get him? – Yeah, I can’t believe it. – Look at you go. – I can’t believe it,
another nice Sauger. Actually, the first time
in my life I’m up on him. Fat little Sauger. – We can go throw Jakes. – No, let’s keep doing this. I’m catching fish, I’m happy. Uh-oh, he just let me do
it, now he’s coming to life. – Yeah. That one’s on the jig. – What do the size limits
have to be here, Brett? – The Sauger’s, there is none. – There’s no size limit at all? – I mean, that’s a perfect
eater, right there. I mean, absolutely. The Walleye’s have
to be 15 inches. – Okay. Oh, got another one? – Little bit, yep. – See, now, something happened. – Oh, oh, oh. – I didn’t see nothing. – Got it on the drop,
though, look at that. – A little hunchback. – Wow, I’ve never
seen one that bad. Should probably whack
that poor guy on the head. – A fish is a fish. – I’d like to catch them all. – He hit it good. – Whacked her huh? – Whacked her pretty good. – Whacked her and stacked her. – [Brett] Oh, you
know what that is? It’s the equalizer. – [Larry] It’s the equalizer. – [Brett] You can
shake that off. Oh, nice Sauger. – [Larry] Oh, that’s
a nice Sauger. Oh I love that. – [Brett] Look at that guy. – [Larry] Look at
that, you know, on the Winnebego system, we
used to have a ton of Sauger. But, now, you don’t catch
them that often, anymore. And, boy, I tell ya, I
certainly…Did you get, aw, I thought we were tied,
now he’s gonna be… Did you get him? – I got him. – Oh darn it. – A better one, too. Oh, oh, oh (laughing) – Oh it came off? Oh, that’s too bad
it came off on ya. – You know what that is, Larry? – What’s that, buddy? – That’s the lead. – Oh-ho, darn it. – No looking back. It’s actually a
nice little eater. That’s a little bit
better one, too. – [Larry] Good one? – [Brett] Yeah – [Larry] The king! I think it’s a catfish. Oh, that’s a good one. – Nice. Oh, no, it;s a Walleye. Must be a Saugeye. – That’s a Saugeye? It is a Saugeye. Look at that, Larry, Guess who just took the lead? I knew it was too
good to be true. I had the lead for
like six minutes. – That one cracked her good. – Oh, I got a good one, too. – That is a true Saugeye, there. – That is, that’s a pretty
fish, too, I’ll tell you that. – A little better one? – Yeah a little bit better. – Just holler if
you need the net. – Look at that, same thing. – Oh, nice Sauger, there. – Look at that,
that’s a nice Sauger. Right there, look
how pretty he is. And, Brett, we were
talking about this before, is that, you know, one of the
problems on the Mississippi, here, is these guys are
keeping all these big Sauger. Which, you know what? If I’m gonna eat a Sauger,
and there’s no size limit, I’ll take a 14
incher, 15 at the most, and let thee big females go. – We’re just getting
them back, I mean, we had it really good
for a lot of years, and they kind of got decimated, so, we’re just getting
them back, now, and it’s very important
to throw these back. Look at the difference,
though, here. Here you’ve got a true Sauger, and here’s a Saugeye. You still got the
blotches in the dorsal, but you got the true
white tip on the tail. – And, right here, too. Awesome. I think we’re tied again. – Yeah, could we
catch another one? – Let’s catch some more. – [Voiceover] With Ice Fishing
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Sportsman Magazine. The premier outdoor magazine. Published in Osh Kosh and written by
Wisconsin Sportsmen for Wisconsin Sportsmen. Get the most out of your time in the woods or on the water. Subscribe to Badger
Sportsman Magazine, today! And, the magazine makes
a great gift idea. Go to Badger Sportsman
Magazine slash Holiday Special and save while you
give this great gift. Get two years for $20,
or three years for $30. Just enter promo code Jolly15. Save on Badger Sportsman
Magazine, today! – Monster fish. – [Voiceover] Welcome to Larry
Smith Outdoors Ice Fishing. A full service guided
Ice Fishing adventure. We supply all the equipment, and provide a hot
meal out on the ice. You just need to arrive with
a Wisconsin fishing license, and get ready to catch fish
and have a great experience. We guide seven days a
week, are fully insured, use the latest
tested tough gear, and will work harder than
anyone to put you on fish. To book a trip, please call 920-361-4996. – Hey, Brett, you know, I’ve
been with you a few times over here, now,
and it seems like every time I come over
here, we’re doing something different, and
today, I definitely am gonna tell you something, I love the Dubuque rigs. Can you tell us a
little bit about it, as far as the technique, and how you work
one of these rigs? Because, my problem
is I’m always moving the rod a lot, I’m
used to doing a lot of vertical jigging
on our systems. I was watching you right
away, this morning, and just holding that
rig there, and I actually caught quite a few
fish doing this, so, this is definitely
one of my favorite techniques, now, over here. – Well, Larry, you
know, the Dubuque rig works really well,
like, in this situation, we’re pulling very
slow upstream, right? – Okay. How fast are we going? – We’re doing .3-.5
miles an hour, typically. We’re working these
current seams, where the fish are
hanging out in, because we’ve got the
higher water again, so, what you want to
do, realistically, the best comparison you
can come up with is, fish it like a bottom-mounter. I’ve got a 3/4 ounce
jig on the bottom, I’m coming up to a three-way,
about a foot of line, and you can play with
that a little bit. And, then, off the other
end of the three-way, we come off that
with a straight hook. I use a fine-wire,
long-shank hook, and I typically will just
thread a ring worm on that, and then, just pull
it real slow upstream. The key to it, much like
plastics fishing, period, here in the cold water,
is not to move it. – [Larry] Right,
and that’s one thing I’ve always struggled
with over here, because I like to
move that bait a lot. – Just let the
current work the bait, and just walk it
along the bottom, and as soon as you feel
something different, you set the hook, immediately. – [Larry] Right, Brett, why
do you feel that not moving it, and obviously, you
know, and it’s definitely the technique, why is
that such a key thing, where at home, we’re constantly
jigging it up and down? – Well, I think what happens
here in the winter time, is you get the shad dying,
coming through the dam. And I think they tumble
along the bottom, is the best theory
I can come up with. And, they just roll
along the bottom, and these fish just
lay down there lazy, wait for it to come
by, and eat it. So, by not moving
these plastics much, it kinda replicates
those slow dying shad not moving around much, and it just seems like
the more you move it, the less you catch, and the less quality you catch in
this colder water. So, that’s the best
description I can give of it. – [Larry] I’ll take it. – Here, on the Mississippi,
it’s a two-rod system. You can use tow rods. But, by using the Dubuque rig, you’re putting both
presentations on one rod. – [Larry] So, only one
rod with two baits. – Right. One rod with two
baits, so, you can now only fish with one rod. It’s a perfect
guiding technique, because you can put
both rods in one hand, basically, per person. – [Larry] Right. And, you know what the
other good part is, Brett? I can keep one hand warm. – That’s right. – [Larry] Oh, that’s
a nice fish, huh? – Yeah, this is a good one. – [Larry] Oh, that’s
got some weight to it. Let me know if you need a net. I can bump that fish
off as good as anybody. – [Brett] yeah, you
might want to grab it. – [Larry] That’s awesome. Alright. Nice job. – Is that a Wally or Sauger? – Sauger. – Saugeye? – No, straight up Sauger. These are the ones,
Larry, that are pretty crucial to go back. That actually might
be a male there, he doesn’t have a
big plump belly. We’re just getting
these back, so… – Yeah, it’s nice to see
that the population’s starting to come back with
some decent fish again. Oh, you’re just
spinning us around. – Oh, that one’s on the
hook again, too, isn’t it? – Nice fish, right there. Boy, I tell ya, I went
to the Kalins, there, and I’ve never got them,
you know like I say about fishing, you’re
always learning, and, I’ve never
really tried a Kalin with a plain hook, like
that, and, thanks to Brett, it’s working pretty darn good. Good one? – Not too bad. Absolutely took it on the drop. – Wow! – Just couldn’t handle that
ring worm floating there. But, you know, I’ve
never caught a bad one. – No, you’re right about that.
– Right? – I like to hear that. Every fish is a good fish. – Definitely a plump
little female, there. – Yes, it is. Back in the old
drink, for that girl. – We’re going to sneak back
in here, shallow again. See if we can snake a
Walleye out of there, Larry. – Okay. Now, you’re saying the Walleye’s are typically bred
shallower, huh? – Shallower, yeah. See, I drop back here,
now, we’re working down to 20 feet, so I
drop back here on the sand a little further, and
that one just come out of about 12 feet. That’s a nice fish, too. Look at the color on
that thing, already. People don’t
understand how clean, and again, this is
a different year, because the water’s been dirty, we had all that
rain, as of recent, boy, this one wasn’t
going nowhere, I could drag him back to town. People don’t
understand how clean this river gets in the winter. – Right. – Look at that, that Walleye
rivals the color of any natural lake, right there. – [Larry] Yeah, it looks
like a Winnebago fish. – You know, that’s a nice
17 inch fish right there. but, yeah, drop back
a little shallower, once in a while, and take
a shot at a better fish. So, I’ll drop back
in the nine feet, then we’ll pull it
down, and the Walleye’s will typically come shallower. – [Larry] Where the
Sauger are hanging out in that deeper water. – The Sauger are
a little deeper, a little faster
current, generally. – Look at that little pork chop. – Sauger. You’re catching up. – You went out a little
deeper again, huh? See, I’m on the Sauger. – Slid out a little bit here. – Boy, I tell ya,
this is amazing. And, Brett, this bite
will go all winter, huh? – It does. Usually, again, we’re
in cleaner water by now. But, as it cleans up,
it’ll get a little more time of day orientated, Larry. – What’s the best time of day? Once the water’s clean, you’re going to start
seeing it, you know, right away, in the morning.
right away at night. – Early bite, huh? – Early evening. It’s just like ice fishing. You know how that gets? With the clean water. – Yes. So, the bites basically
an early bite and an evening bite? – Yeah, but you can
always scratch some out during the day. You know, the Saugers, because
they’re generally deep, But, there’ll definitely
be those peak hours as winter wears on. – Ok, let me ask
you this, Brett. Where do these fish come from? – Oh – Oh, another? – Yeah. – Do these fish come
out of Lake Pepin? – They do, a lot of them do. I mean, we have
resident fish here, that are in here all year. We catch them up
here, all summer. I actually chinned it. That’s another thing that
Saugers are known for, Larry. See how it’s hooked
in the bottom, they’ll come up, and they
smash their food to the bottom. – I didn’t know that’s
why you hook them. Honestly, I’ve been
fishing all my life, I never knew that. – Yes, they’ll come up, and, you know, I guess
that’s a theory, there’s no way to prove
it, other than on camera. But, I catch so many
of them doing that, that they must come up
and just smack that thing to the bottom. – Yeah to try and kill it? – Kill it, that’s
right, I think so. – Boy, the light came on again. Now we’re really on fire. – We’ll see who’s bigger. – Oh, I don’t know. – Oh, you got me, I think. – Oh, I got you on that one. – No? – Yeah, I don’t know. Let’s see what you got there. – But I mean, look at this. How many of these have
we caught so far, today? – We’ve caught a
lot of fish already. – These are great eaters,
right here, you know? It’s the one’s that
are bigger than this, that we gotta get back in. – Right. You know, people get sick
of hearing me say this, but, it’s too bad there
wasn’t a slot limit. – And, we’ve asked
and asked and asked. The problem with this is
it’s border waters, for one. – Right. – You’ve got Minnesota
and Wisconsin, that apparently can’t agree
on a protected slot here. But, yeah, I’m all for it. I’d love to see this
go to a reduced limit, definitely a slot limit
fishery during the winter, because these fish
are vulnerable. – They are. – There’s one laying on
the bottom, Larry, get him. – Is he on my side of your side? – He looks like
he’s on the right. – He whacked it, definitely
hit it a lot harder. Anything happen? He really whacked that cable. Feels good. – Get him out here in
a little more current. – Yeah, they fight
a little more. – Oh, yeah. – That’s a nice one,
that’s a very nice one. – Oh, I gotta like that one. – You like that one. – I like that one, I
like that one a lot. Now, that is a nice fish. Look at that. Gotta love that. On the old plain
hook and the Kalin. Kalin’s it is. – I gave you a new addiction. – You did. I’ll be running this at home,
like this, too, a plain hook. I’m out here in
this current, whoo. – Yeah, that last one I
caught fought like crazy, too. It felt good. – They might get a little
more heave to them. – I wanna get that mouth open, need a little more drag. He’s on the hook. That’s a nice Sauger. – Yeah, that is a nice fish. – That’s the first one
I caught on that color. – I was just gonna say,
you got a different color on there, now. – People like to hang
a minnow on that hook, but not me. – Hey, stay tuned, we’ll be
right back, right after this. – [ Voiceover] If you
want a tip-up that lasts, nothing beats a Beaver Dam. With over 50 years of American
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the ice that’s never had a melt-down, even
if your buddies do. – Oh! Look at that
fish! Oh my gosh! Holy God Dang,
look at that fish! – Take him, it’s yours, baby. – [ Voiceover] Badger
Sportsman Magazine. The premier outdoor magazine. Published in Osh Kosh, and written by
Wisconsin sportsmen, for Wisconsin sportsmen. Get the most out of
your time in the woods or on the water. Subscribe to Badger
Sportsman Magazine today. And, the magazine makes
a great gift idea. Go to Badger Sportsman
Magazine slash Holiday Special and save while you
give this great gift. Get two years for $20
or three years for $30. Just enter promo code Jolly15. Save on Badger Sportsman
Magazine, today! – At Jiffy, we pride
ourselves at being number one in developing the best
propane drills on the ice. It’s why our engineers
have worked side-by-side with anglers for
65 years running. All built and tested, right
here in the U.S. of A. Patented, proven
performance is Jiffy’s vision for the future. And, from where we stand, the future looks pretty darn sweet. Jiffy, we put the world on ice. – [Larry] Flip him in. – Flip him? – [Larry] He’s a flipper. That’s a nice Walleye. A nice build on him. – Let go a my Eggo. – Hay, Brett, you
know, I’ve known you for quite a few years,
and we’ve fished together many a times,
and you used to have a bus company, and you used
to own Smooth Moves, and there’s a lot of
things, and you’ve always fished professionally,
but, now I know you’re doing something a little
bit different, too, besides fishing professionally. What’s up with that? – So, two years ago, when I
sold the bus company, Larry, and got of that, I got
hired by a Marine Rep group, we also do RV as well. The SMI is a good company. So, the primary project
they hired me for, was the Motor Guide
Xi5 Trolling Motor. Which is a new GPS
trolling motor. It’s got a four
gigahertz antenna in it, which, if you understand
GPS, what the gigahertz stands for, is an update rate. So, the Xi5 updates
four times a second. It’s much greater accuracy
in the features like the anchor, the heading
lock, things like that, the cruise control. – [Larry] More precise. – More precise because
of the update rates. Now, we’re integrating
with the Lowrance as well, so, I’ve had the ability
to run everything right off the touch screen, also. You know how I am
on anchoring, Larry, when I’m pitching
these plastics, I don’t want the
boat to move, at all. So, two years ago,
when I got involved with this motor, I literally
have put my anchor to bed, because I don’t need it anymore. This motor just
holds me in one spot. It’s also got a feature
on it called the jog. So, when I’m on
anchor, and I’m fishing like a wing dam,
like this back here, I can adjust the boat position
in five foot increments without coming off the anchor. So, have you ever heard
of such a thing, Larry? – [Larry] No, I haven’t. But,
I tell ya, that really sounds like it makes our
job a lot easier. – It does, because
if you want to make just a quick adjustment,
while you’re on anchor, all I gotta do is push a button. I could go forward,
backwards, left, right. I can do it off the remote,
off the Lowrance integration, I can do it right on the screen. So, it’s a phenomenal product,
it’s been a lot of fun, definitely a lifestyle change
for me, that’s for sure, but I’m really enjoying it. – Hey, Brett, how many
fish did we catch today? – Oh, I don’t know, Larry. Quite a few. – Yeah, I would say, what? – 40-50, I would say. – Yep, so if we caught 50,
you caught 35, I caught 15. – I don’t… – That’s better than my
norm when I come over here. I had just an
absolutely awesome time. – It was fun. – You know, I learned
a lot, like I always do when I fish with ya, and
this is an absolutely fantastic river. We’ll be back over to
fish with you, again. Maybe a night bite
next time, huh? – Yeah, it’s possible. – Okay, that sounds
really great. For Larry Smith
Outdoors, you know what? It was another great adventure, and it’s a great
day to be alive. Don’t forget to
join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and did
I screw that up (laughing). Oh, do you need
help with that one? I didn’t say that
I like to be froze, but I do like cold air, clean, goes through your lungs better. Right there, baby! My hands are getting
a little bit cold. Oh, I’m getting a
little bit black. One of my hand warmers must’ve
broke open a little bit. Oh, look at this (laughing)

9 thoughts on “Mississippi River Walleyes and Saugers in Winter

  1. I'm keeping the biggest fish I catch for my limit. When we come up, we're coming up to stock the freezer, not worry about slot limits.

  2. interesting info about the saugeye. I don't think I've ever caught one?

  3. I have an xi5 and several quality issues. One with jog where it was unpredictable which direction it would go. Maybe you can help,

  4. I know brett is is one of my best friends mom is dating brett

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