Rob Kolakowski

Rob Kolakowski began fishing at age 2. He has been fly fishing for the last 25 years and teaches casting and beginning fly fishing. He's the vice president of the Western Wisconsin Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America and belongs to several other conservation organizations.

Drum Roll Please

Posted by: Rob Kolakowski Updated: June 23, 2010 - 10:21 PM

 

Freshwater Drum or Sheepshead - Rob Kolakowski photo

Freshwater Drum or Sheepshead - Rob Kolakowski photo

 

 

    Most of us don’t head to the water to catch a freshwater drum or sheepshead.  We are usually after the glamour fish like smallmouth, walleyes, …. and a long list of other species.  For many the sheepshead doesn’t even make the list.  You don't see very many grip and grin photos displaying such a prize and none where anyone is touching those lips.


    In reality we really need to give them credit for keeping the sport alive.  I can’t say how many times the glamour fish showed no sign, but the sheepshead were willing and able.  If it weren’t for their homely mugs and willingness to bite I may have ended up going home and cutting the grass or taken up some other sport in the short term.


    This last winter I had a rare chance to fish the Gulf of Mexico, but didn’t go due to the massive fish kills they were having.  The cold weather and well below average water temps were turning up dead fish by the many thousands.  Fishing reports came in with catches of guess what….sheepshead.  Even through the worst they are there for us.


    Believe it or not sheepshead do put up a fight.  Especially if they are anywhere near the state record.  Minnesota hosts a 35lb 3.2oz specimen and Wisconsin hosts a 35lb 4oz brawler.  Something like that is sure to catch you off guard when jigging for walleyes or stripping a streamer for smallmouth.  You crappie folk better have a big net also, just in case.

 
    Next time your on the water and the sheepshead make for a good day.  I want to see some of your photos posted on the Star Tribune Club Outdoors website.  Especially the ones from you crazy fish lips kissers.  That would really make my day.       

 

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