Drake Herd

Drake Herd is the walleye expert in Alexandria, Minn. He owns a fishing guide service called H & H Guide Service.

A Few Things That Might Help You Become A Better Angler.

Posted by: Drake Herd under Fishing Updated: February 19, 2010 - 3:02 PM

There are a few questions that I get asked when out fishing with my clients that I think could help you, the angler become a better fisherman. There are three basic tips that I am going to talk about, the first is pay attention to the details, the second, watch your speed, and third, be patient and have fun.

 

First thing that can make you a better angler, would be to pay attention to the details. If I catch a fish, or get a bite, the first thing I do is look at the depth. Then, after reeling in the fish or missing, which I seem to do alot, I then look at the water temperature, wind direction, what the bottom was like: steep or flat, hard or soft and lastly, what exactly I was using for bait. These are some of the most important things for an angler to pay attention too. This way, when I get back to fishing, I know exactly what I am looking for to catch another fish. It also works great because you can look at a map and find other spots on the lake where you can replicate this action.
    
Second, watch your speed. This can be, and is one of the most important things for an angler in my mind, whether you are fishing for bass, walleyes or crappies. If the fish dont like the speed your at, they aren't going to bite. My best tip would be to slow down, people can never move slow enough. I often times get asked, " Have we moved for the last 15 minutes?" My answer is usually no! If the fish are down there and I'm marking them, we're not moving. If the school starts to move, we will try and follow them up or down the break. On the other hand, when those fish are aggressive, you need to get up and go. I have caught walleyes going close to 3.5 MPH. Sometimes, if the fish aren't aggressive and you bring your bait by them moving fast it can trigger a bite because they have less time to think and just react on the bait.
 
The third thing that I feel can make you a better angler is be patient but have fun. So many anglers these days get on the water and want to burn gas through the motor, but sometimes its the guys that stay put and wait for those fish that have the better luck. Dont get me wrong there is a time to run and gun but overall if you are patient and relaxed, I feel you will catch more fish. If your trying to learn a new body of water, just be patient, it might not be the first, second or even third time, but you will learn to try new things and the on forth time you may lay into a toad of a bass. 
 

If you pay attention to these three things: attention to details, watch your speed and be patient, it will help you to become a better angler. Good luck in this next season. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email or call at any time.

Alexandria MN Ice Fishing Conditions

Posted by: Drake Herd under Fishing, Bait, Fishing Techniques, Panfish, Walleye Updated: December 29, 2009 - 10:37 AM
With the snow hitting this past week it has made fishing alittle tougher, people are still managing their way around but the heavy snow has forced many people to stay on the roads that are being plowed. We managed around 12-14 inches of snow.

As for the ice I would say it ranges but from 8 to 12 inches would be a good estimate. Depending on the lake, All the lakes around the area have some sort of fish house action on them. Reno has been packed but people are driving smaller trucks out on the lake and there are alot of big houses out on the ice. Osakis, has ice ranging from 9 to 11 inches also with many smaller cars driving out onto the ice.  Minnewaska has ranging ice but overall it probably has the most ice of any in the area with ice ranging from 12 to 13 inches. The Alexandria Chain ranges but the average is 8 to 11 inches of ice, Le homme deiu and Darling have the most ice with Carlos still having the least in the area.

As for fishing there are some reports of good sunnie and crappie fishing in the shallows ranging from 8 to 12 feet of water, using wax worms and crappie minnows. The best colors have been either hot colors (ie pinks, chart, or orange) or they have been going with more nuetral colors (ie blacks and purples) As for walleyes the bite has been slowed since the big storm hit but their are still some to be had, the best bites have been in the evening into the night. depths ranged but 15 to 22 feet of water seems to be your best bet. Most people are using a jig with one rod and a plain hook and a minnow in the other hole. They fish have been biting both. As for Northern fishing, the best bet is to find a good bed of green weeds and set up tip-ups around the bed with large sucker minnows. Depths are ranging but anywhere from 12 to 15 feet of water. If you do have any further questions about lakes, fishing reports and rental house information please feel free to email or call at any time. Good luck to all those heading out.

Drake Herd
H&H Fishing Guide Service
320-766-2320
www.hhfishingguides.com

Dead of The Summer, Flat Calm for Walleyes, Go Fast!

Posted by: Drake Herd under Walleye Updated: August 6, 2009 - 10:24 AM
Over the past few weeks the wind and temperatures have started to act more like summer. The wind is calm or not there and its the middle of the day and your sweating sitting in a fishing boat. People always say, "Those walleyes aren't biting". Wrong! Make best with what you have. What I do is move fast to cover ground. I will either take out the bottom bouncers or grab the trolling rods for some cranking. 

If I am fishing a lake with lots of structure, I take out the bottom bouncers. I feel that I have much more control over tight corners, points and drop offs. I am able to manage where my bait is at any given moment. What I am looking for are really steep breaks with good weed growth. Now that you found these, put on the bottom bouncers and go! Stay right on the weed edge or a few feet from it. Dont even turn around to cover the ground more than once. Now if I get a fish or two on, I will turn around one more pass and then keep moving. For speed i'm moving between 1.0 and 2.2 MPH. A good rule of tumb on a bottom bouncers is, for every 10 feet down add an ounce. So for example if I am 20 feet down I have a 2 ounce bouncer on, 30 feet a 3 ounce. For bait, simple Night Crawlers and spinners. With this style of fishing we are looking for fish that are active, and aggressive, spinners tend to get those fish to bite. It is a great way to search for fish when the wind lays down and the fish seem to spread out. 

Now, if I am on a lake with no structure, its a big bowl with one or two points, I am pulling out the trolling rods and crankbaits. In the middle of the day I am searching for fish in the basin or bottom of that lake. But they still will relate to drop offs and bottom content. What I am doing is pulling my crankbaits out off the break 10 to 30 yards, looking for those fish that are just laying down on the bottom waiting for something to pass by. Speeds vary but I like to move around 1.5 to 3 MPH. You make think thats fast, but when your rod starts double over going 3 mph, you'll want to go faster! Crankbaits that I like are the Reef Runners or Salmo's. These baits I feel have the best action to get the job done moving at these speeds. I try to keep my crank baits two to 3 feet up of the bottom, and the dirtier the water the closer to the bottom I will be.

So the next time that the wind lays down and its in the middle of the day, GO FAST! Cover ground and dont be afraid to just keep going. If your just learning a lake you may find new structure, rock piles or even catch a few walleyes. Its a great way for kids and other family members to get out and catch some walleyes on a nice day, when its not raining, cold and windy. Good luck to all those who are heading out. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me at hhguide@hotmail.com or call at 320-766-2320.

Wind, Rain, and Cold Fronts What To Do for Walleyes

Posted by: Drake Herd under Walleye Updated: June 18, 2009 - 7:35 PM

    When I wake up in the morning, flip on the TV and Check the local weather and see nothing but bad coming I get prepared. What do I mean by getting prepared? Heavy weight or light weight tackle, fast or slow?
Well First I see how severe the weather is going to be. there are a few key things that I look at. First, how much of a temperature drop is the front suppose to be. Second, I look at which direction the wind is going to be and how strong it is going to be. Third, I look at what type of precipitation is going to be coming along with the storm, snow rain, fog, or thunderstorms. Now what do I do with that information, well I take all these factor into consideration but more than likely I’m going to be moving into the weeds to fish for those walleyes.  When the temperatures drop and the wind picks up I think that the fish move into the weeds, as that water is going to be the warmest water so most of the bait fish are going to be hiding in or around those weeds. Then I look at the wind, I’m going to pick weeds that the wind is either blowing up on or off of. By that I mean if the wind is blowing from the West I’m going to fish the West side but I am also going to check the opposite side, the East side.  Why check both sides of the weeds because the West side will be where the bait fish  is getting tossed up on, and the East side because that is where the baitfish are being tossed off. More often that not fish will be on both sides looking for an easy snack.   
    Now what to do about precipitation, if its rain, fog or snow those fish are going to be in those shallow weed beds, your going to have to move as slow as possible  through those weeds to get those walleyes to bite. If there are thunderstorms and lightening the night before  the front move to the deeper weed lines. In my experience when there is lightening and thunderstorms the night  before you go out fishing those fish will move to deeper water and deeper weeds with the cold front.
 Now for tactics, Light weight and three different tactics which include: One: Jig and minnow, Two: Lindy rig, Three: slip bobber and small jig. I like to sometimes anchor when a front moves through and pitch jigs into those weeds or I will also have my partner or clients throw out a slip bobber. This will allow for those fish to look at the bait for a longer period of time which usually allows them time to think and then react to the bait. When those are going so well or the fish are really biting, I will start to move around with lindy rigs and snap jigging. What I am doing is searching for those aggressive biters and covering some ground doing it.
 When the next cold front comes through like last weekend, I suggest people move in the weeds slow down and play the wind. The fish are still in the lake they may just have moved into cover and warmer water. If you take into consideration these factors it will help you become a more successful angler. Good luck. Feel free to email me with any questions or concerns.

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