Kevin Winkler

Born and raised in Todd County, Minn., Kevin Winkler was brought up living the life of a outdoorsman. He loves fishing and hunting and now runs a guide service. He offers fall combo fishing and hunting trips and does some photography on the side. He will talk fishing or hunting with anyone, anytime.

Posts about Family Fun

School's out for summer.

Posted by: Kevin Winkler Updated: June 11, 2009 - 10:49 PM
   Before you start thinking this don't pertain to you because you don't live on a lake or river, Stop! I know Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but what you might not know is that it is also home to thousands of gravel pits and small creeks and streams that feed into larger rivers or lakes. As a kid I spent thousands of hours with my friends fishing in locations never seen from a road. I'm going to try and help you find some place close to home that might not be more than a short bike ride away for the kids. Some of you may be more lucky than others and have a public fishing pier close to home. If you live out in the sticks like some of us did growing up, a river might be close by.

  If you are reading this I'm going to assume you have computer access to the Minnesota DNR Website. This is the first place to start looking. Just click on the link and surf around in the Airphotos section. There are several other mapping programs on the web that can be used to find remote areas of water close to your home. Keep in mind you will need to find out who owns the land and you will need to ask permission to gain access to these locations, but it can be well worth the time and energy to seek out these hidden little gems. One little gravel pit I fished as a kid seemed to have a never ending supply of pike in it to stretch the string and keep my friends and I happy for countless hours. Some little creeks can be very deceiving to the eye at first glance. You might not think by looking at a creek from the road that there might be fish in it. You might even say you could jump across that puddle. The truth is, in the spring of the year when the water is high many species of fish go up these small little brooks and get trapped in some of the deeper pools, and those are the areas you are looking for on the map.

  Make it a summer project and give the kids something to do other than sit and play video games all day. Spend time with them on the computer teaching them how to read a map and show them how to get to these locations. Have them knock on a few doors and ask if they can gain access to a small pit or creek. 

   Once you do have a location picked out and you have access to it, start out small with the bait. First you need to see if there are in fact bait fish in those holes. A small hook and a worm will do the trick, and minnows make great bait for bigger fish. Small spoons and spinners are a must have for the box. Red and Whites for the spoons and yellows for the spinners to keep it simple yet very effective.

   Feel free to use the comment section under this blog if you would like more help or have any questions. Good luck and most of all, have fun. 

Fishing the other end of the lake.

Posted by: Kevin Winkler Updated: June 9, 2009 - 10:40 PM
 How do you choose what location to fish on a lake?  Do you look at a map first and study it looking for a flat or a hump? Do you look for a weed bed or a point sticking out into the lake? Maybe you look for a nice calm spot out of the wind. Do you look where other boats are and then just join the pack? Have you ever wanted to find fish where there are no other boats? Maybe you've tried, and never had the best success. Do you feel intimidated by big lakes and choose only to fish small lakes because you just don't know where to start looking on big lakes?

 If you're  like me, you've probably read about everything you can get your hands on. Watched video after video, and every program on TV filling your head with every little tid-bit of info you can.  Do you still feel like you still just can't put it together once you are on the water?

 If I had to choose the number one mistake I see over and over again while on any body of water big or small... I'd have to say too many people spend way too much time running from one end of the lake to the other jumping from one spot to the next and they don't spend enough time looking for fish in a smaller area of that body of water.

 For example lets say lake X is 1,168 acres. You've never fished it before. But a friend showed you a few pictures from a week or two earlier of a fantastic Walleye bite him and a couple buddy's raked in on. You want to try your luck there now and the only info you have is that they fished in 12-16 foot of water with Crawlers. Let's say you buy a map and mark all of the prime looking 12-16 foot of water. Humps, Points, Breaks, Inside turns, Outside turns, Saddle areas, flats. By the time you are done the map looks like it had been around for years, but only you know that it's the first time the map has been in the boat. You spend half of the day running every piece of water in the 12-16 foot range and start calling your buddy a liar because there is no way he was on that lake.  The truth of the matter is, your buddy could have been there before the bug hatch. Maybe the moon was just right. Storm front moving in or out maybe? Water temp? The fact is that those fish might have moved a little deeper or shallower.

 When I go to a new lake, I first look at a map. Depending on the size of the lake I might cut it in half or maybe thirds, maybe ever quarters or sixteenths if need be. I think more people would catch more fish more often if they would spend more time hunting for fish in smaller areas of the lake rather than running from one end to the other. 

  I'll bet you my hat right now that if you watch close the next time you are on the lake that most of the boats you see leaving the public access on the east side of the lake will be the guys/gals fishing the west end of the lake. The people launching on the North side of the lake have to fish on the south side of the lake. And most of the boats leaving their cabins ... Yep you guessed it, the best fishing areas are always on the other end of the lake.

 I hope you all see a little humor in this blog. I just got off the lake and was having this very conversation with a resort owner I know. We both got a good smile out of the topic, I hope you do too. Until next time ... See you on the other end of the lake, and if you do see me, wave me down and say hello.

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