Josh Hagemeister

Capt. Josh Hagemeister, who runs Minnesota Fishing Guide Service, has been a successful multi-species fishing guide throughout Minnesota for 20 years.

Posts about Family Fun

River Crappies--Go with the flow!

Posted by: Josh Hagenmeister Updated: November 19, 2009 - 10:47 AM
So Im walking around the yard the other day after another couple of days of deer hunting and Im looking at the boats that are crying to get on the water a few more times, I look at my watch, take a breath of 50 degree air and decide to go fishing.  What does a guy do on November 17th when its 50 degrees and the suns out?  I decided to head to the Mississippi and try some crappie fishing.  After a five minute trip down to the bait shop in St. Cloud to grab a couple of scoops of fatheads, I found myself  cruising down stream to fish crappies behind some pilings and ice breakers-usually decent spots for mid-river slabs--especially in the fall.
So i grab a 1/8 oz chartreuse/orange jig and tip it with a healthy sized fathead minnow and begin my search for a school of slabs.  After a few run- throughs with the sonar I spotted some on the bottom at 23 ft behind an old ice breaker.  The cool thing was that the fish were 35 yds back from the actual "visible" current break.  That told me that the fish had probably not been bothered by other anglers because of the fact that most river anglers that I have observed will fish directly behind/next to an object that breaks the current--not 30-40 yards down stream of the object.  The fact is that there is usually an underwater
"eddie" quite a distance back from most objects on or near the bottom of the river.  In the deeper water, there isusually not any visible  surface evidence that the bottom "eddie" exists.  The bottom "eddie" will create a pocket of "dead" water on the bottom.  These elusive pockets of water usually are full of fish that never see a bait.  So now what?
I started by "slipping" down stream with the trolling motor vertically jigging the bait and dragging it along the bottom.  At times I "hover" the boat when a bunch of fish are "marked".  When I exhaust that display of bait dragging out I switch to holding the boat steady and chunking the bait cross current through the school of fish--this will entice the fish that were not triggered by the simple "drag the bait dowstream" appproach.  After slipping the bait cross current from one direction I change  the boats location over to the other side of the school of fish and give them the old cross current trick form the other angle.  The more angles/directions you can deliver the bait to the same school of fish--the better.  This idea also applies directly to any open water fishing situation that is encountered throughout the summer--lake or river.
One more option to try before I go.  Just when the action starts to dwindle and I'm ready to find a new school of fish, I tip a jigging spoon (like a swedish pimple) with a minnow head and flutter it through the fish a few times.  Usually I can score a couple of bonus fish before I head out.  Speaking of heading out, If I leave now I can be catching more crappies in about 45 minutes, See ya and good luck.   Capt. Josh

September Fishing Is King!

Posted by: Josh Hagenmeister Updated: September 4, 2009 - 12:17 PM
Wow, its been a while since I had time to blog anything--but that's a good thing because that means I've been fishing.  The summer has been a great summer of fishing all over the state--many good catches and big fish too!   With Labor Day about under the bridge, Septemeber fishing is here!.  
I just finished a booking a trip with a client from Missouri and we were talking about how over the years September has become just as busy for guided fishing trips as June, July, and August.  She was surprised to hear that.  I began to explain that the weather is about perfect and predictable (unlike May or June), its not overly hot and humid (unlike July or August) and the fish are well into the Fall pattern "feeding mode" which actually begins (in my opinion) in mid to late August.  Not ot mention, the fish are already on the feed bag for winter--maybe not so much the real big fish (October is for the big fish), but the numbers of fun to catch eater size that ultimately anglers pay to catch are hungry.  Oh yeh, did I mention no boat traffic ( and less fishing pressure) giving added tranquility to entire experince of a guided fishing trip? -- I just did.  How about lodging advantages?  That's another good reason for a September fishing trip.
   Reduced lodging rates and time requirements also help make September a good time of year to plan a last minute fishing trip.  Short term lodging can be much easier arrange than it is in July.  After Labor day, many resorts will no longer require a full week commitment in order for you to stay in a cabin or room. That translates into many of the resorts loosening the rules a bit and allowing  the one or two night group --which makes it easier for anglers to plan a last minute fishing trip.  What's also nice is the fact that most resorts will consider lodging "off peak" after Labor Day thus charging lower rates per night.  That equals for extra cash for fun stuff like new tackle or steak on the grill instead of a burger.  And what about the fishing?  
I almost forgot the obvious--the great fishing.  The fish are already in "Fall" mode making it generally easier to catch.  Bass, Walleye, Northern--all of them are starting to fatten up for winter--abd this year it is obvious.  Just yesterday I commented on how "fat" the fish were for their length--already.  Whatever the reason, the fish are eager to feed making for some real memorable fishing trips.  So dont delay, --Go Fish!  See ya one the water and have a good weekend.  Capt. Josh


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