Articles 2018-04-02T16:43:32+00:00
Ellsworth Community College

Unlocking Secrets to Trolling for Walleyes

By Steve Weisman As a fishing guide on the Iowa Great Lakes, M. Doug Burns is often asked by anglers, “What should I do when I troll for walleyes?” Burns, who has been a professional guide since 1986, begins to answer this question by saying, “There is not one single answer to this question. As a matter of fact, books have been written on this topic.” Burns does believe, however, that by developing a solid game plan, angler success can become consistent. To make things easier, Burns tries not to lump trolling for walleyes into one huge topic. Instead, he breaks it down to times of the year. This discussion will include late spring into summer covering trolling with both [...]

By | May 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Basics of Trapping

By Mike Sells With the recent rise in the price for raw fur, many of you may be considering starting a trap line. It is an excellent way to keep active in the outdoors and generate some extra income.  In this article I will explain the basic skills required to catch muskrats, mink, raccoon, fox and coyotes. It's really pretty simple if you will study the targeted animal and its environment and then apply the basics. I have been trapping for over fifty years and still use a lot of the same basic type of sets that I started with. One of those sets is called a “Blind Set.” All that is required for making a blind set is to [...]

By | May 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Deer Hunting Secrets From Dad

By Drew Henry I was raised hunting white-tailed deer with my dad in eastern Montana on the Milk River, primarily from a tree stand. My hundreds of mornings and nights spent patiently waiting for that bruiser to walk past me have resulted in some great successes, even more great mistakes, and whole lot of lessons learned. When I told my dad I was writing an article with a few of my favorite tips and tricks, he was less than excited. “Why would you want to do that?” he asked me bluntly, as if everyone who reads this was going to run out and accomplish everything he had worked so hard to teach me. Sarcastically I replied, “I’m a decent swimmer, [...]

By | May 25th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Low Water Catfish

Over the better part of the last decade low water has really not been an issue to deal with when catfishing, especially here in the North Country. The talk in most catfish circles is anglers wishing the water would go down to get a boat in or once they get a boat in “where are the channel catfish hiding.” Even I can only remember two occasions where low water was any kind of an issue over the past decade. Where do the catfish go in low water When river levels get down to normal or below normal water levels catching channel cats can be about as easy as it can be. From a boat you simply drive to a hole [...]

By | May 22nd, 2018|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Trolling Cranks for Paper Mouths

By Nick Johnson We troll for walleye; we troll for muskie, heck some of us even troll for channel catfish. But, whoever thinks of trolling for crappie? Trolling for crappies seems a little bit too aggressive to many of us but in fact it can be an extremely productive way to catch big slabs suspended in many of our Iowa lakes. The summer period is a time of diversity for crappie patterns and if you aren't finding the big boys and girls around timber or rock banks then it's time to put the electronics to work and troll for open water fish. Define Their Depth Finding the preferred depth of suspended fish is probably the most crucial piece of the [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Best of Both Worlds

When Van Halen released their 1986 hit song “Best of Both Worlds”, I highly doubt they had fly fishing in mind. That’s unfortunate because my favorite fly fishing rig, the “hopper-dropper”, gives me exactly what they’re talking about in their song. It allows me to catch Northeast Iowa trout in the two worlds that their feeding habits exist. Two of the most effective methods for catching trout on the fly are dry fly fishing on the surface of the water and nymph fishing below the surface of the water. Each technique has its own merits and its own limitations. Combining these two techniques, as the hopper-dropper rig does, overcomes many of these limitations and combines all the positives of each. [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Food Plots: Are They Necessary in Iowa?

I have often heard many deer hunters say that there is no reason why they should plant a food plot in Iowa. After all there is already plenty of food, with the over abundance of corn and soybean fields in our state. Half of that statement is true; the part about our state has a large amount of grain producing crops. The part about no reason to plant a food plot, well that is wrong in my opinion. We all know Iowa is arguably the best place to hunt whitetails in the nation and corn and soybeans are part of that reason. So why on earth would you ever want to plant a food plot in Iowa, since we already [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

5 Keys to Summer Muskies

By Tracy Crail The summer months bring with them a wide range of musky activity. There are many factors that dictate their feeding levels. Learning to identify them and maximizing your chances will put more fish in your boat. I have 5 key topics that I rely on in the summer months that put fish in my boat on a regular basis. WATER TEMPERATURE Muskies hit peak feeding in the summer when the water temperature gets to 70 degrees for the first time of the year and then stops and holds in the mid 70’s. This is known as the summer peak. It can last as short as a few days to as long as a few weeks. During that [...]

By | May 18th, 2018|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments


Crappie and bluegill are by far one of the most sought after fish during the ice-fishing season. Chasing these feisty fish not only provide anglers with table fare for the evening meal but loads of fun for both young and old alike. Panfish can offer hours of on ice fun with fast action and bent ice rods. You can go anywhere in Iowa and find these fish, but there are a few standout fisheries that can produce some quality fish. WEST OKOBOJI It should come as no surprise to ice anglers that this lake will top the list as the location to chase after some of Iowa’s largest bluegill. Anglers often refer to these big gills as “bulls”, those big [...]

By | May 17th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Beware The Nightmare

By Bruster Beaty As participants of the tremendous offerings afforded by the great outdoors, we are constantly seeking new adventures. I must admit, however, the most heartfelt nimrodial memories are those nurtured during my excursions to the lakes, woods, and streams within shooting distance of home. Be that as it may, there have often been times I’ve dreamed of venturing into the far corners of Mother Nature’s kingdom. These dreams have taken the form of hunting and fishing trips throughout North America. Many of you have, as well, found yourselves traveling to such exotic locales as the far North, our mountainous West, the arid lands of the Southwest, or possibly just a booked trip here in Iowa. Each of these [...]

By | May 17th, 2018|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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