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.

What can you do about invasive species

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Events Updated: July 15, 2009 - 10:37 AM
 Over the past couple years we've been seeing it more and more. I don't think there is a way to stop invasive species, but we can slow them down. I've been wanting to make an impact myself. I wanted to do more about it. No matter how many times I pressure wash my trailer and boat after I leave a lake, no mater how many times I pull the plug on my boat, drain the live well and dump out my bait. It just never seemed as if I was doing enough. That's when I heard about Recycled Fish, and a event called the 24 Hour Fish-A-Thon. Right off the bat I jumped in head first. I figured here is my chance to make a bigger impact on the spread of invasive species and give others the chance to help out as well.

  You can click on the links above if you want to know more about the program. One of the things that I needed to do to get signed up to fish this event, was to provide my concerns and fish for a cause. Along with that I was asked to find a partner to fish with me and help document the fishing. I gave it some thought and decided to get the people who help with donations to go fishing with me. The top six sponsors will have their pick of times they can go on a 4 hour guided trip in the 24 hour time frame. Highest  paying sponsor gets first pick and the lowest of the top six gets last pick. Should the sponsor choose not to go fishing, I have several kids in the area that would love the chance to go and fish on the sponsors behalf. So here is your chance to make a difference. You can email your pledge to me at or if you would like to make your donation for a tax deduction, contact Teeg at  and tell him you want to sponsor me and the dollar amount you wish to donate. He has all of the Tax ID. info for you as well. Anyone can make a difference. You can sponsor $1.00 or $10,000.00 no donation is too big or too small when it comes to our resources.

Hunting for new water.

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Equipment, Fishing Techniques Updated: July 7, 2009 - 11:32 PM
  If there is one thing I don't enjoy, that would be combat fishing. Sure put a little money on the line, and I might be willing to rub rails with other boats if they want to. But for the most part, I like to get out and away from the most popular areas on the lake. I like to fish away from the crowds if at all possible. That is why I try and spend several days on the water each year on different lakes, or just different areas of bigger lakes looking for new ground, or is that water. I was out for 6 hours on Monday looking over a lake I have been spending a little more time on this year. For the most part, I had my fishing pole set in the rod holder and was not looking at it very much, I could have just as well never even put the line in the water. My eyes were glued to the electronics.  I like to look for little spots not far from other known areas. For example not 50 yards away from a known reef there might be another small pile of rocks just barely noticeable on sonar. Maybe a bed of clams. something that changes the bottom, but is overlooked by most fisherman.  Most times I learn something new when out there marking new bottom not listed on any maps.  Here's one for you ... How many of you fished a spot for hours with the sonar lit up with fish trying to figure out what you might have in your box to offer them that might change their mind to eat. You try every form of live bait known to man, presented every way known as well, heck you try spinners, jigs, bobbers, spoons, but those fish just don't want to eat. Maybe it's that cold front? Maybe you're thinking it's the moon? (Back to Monday) As I zig-zaged on and off the edges and across the flats looking for these hidden little spot on the spot on the spot areas I was watching the other boats on the lake as well. everyone seemed to be moving from one place to the next like a cake walk.(Add music here) I eased up to one of those areas and dropped the camera down, set the auto-pilot, and watched the screen for details with my finger on the WPT button ... Suckers! hundreds of them! plastered to the bottom of one of the nicest rock piles in the lake. I eased back and forth marking the start and end of the pile on the GPS knowing this is also home to walleyes. I've caught them there. But it was right then and there that I realized that I did get some satisfaction from those fish. They did not even have to stretch my line to do it. I grinned at thinking how many people were fishing those fish thinking they were walleye. I left them alone uninterrupted for the time being. But I am wondering how a big gob of worms laying on the bottom in 23 foot of water might work ... If it's as much fun in the summer as it is in the spring, I see a boat full of kids tormenting those fish real soon.

More bad news in my back yard!

Posted by: Kevin Winkler Updated: July 2, 2009 - 9:32 PM
 This past week things really started to hit me hard after reading about Zebra mussels in Lake Le Homme Dieu in Alexandria.  I now think it's just a matter of time before all of our lakes have some sort of invasive specie in it. You see Le Homme Dieu is part of the Alexandria chain, there are many lakes connected to this chain. Lake Carlos being one of them. Lake Carlos is also the starting point of the Long Prairie River. It flows East, North East to the town of Motley where it then drains into the Crow Wing River. Not to mention that there is a high water over flow ditch connected to the Long Prairie River that feeds into lake Osakis. Osakis in a round about way is the start of the Sauk River, but it must pass threw several small lakes before it gets that far. I don't know if we can educate any more than we already are. There are plenty of signs at every boat launch, but these invaders still keep finding new homes each year.

  Please people ... We all need to work a little harder to slow down the spread.

Good luck this weekend, be safe, have fun, and don't forget to clean off your trailers and drain all of the water out of your boats.

Cool tip for "Cooling kids"

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Equipment, Family Fun Updated: June 30, 2009 - 11:30 AM
  I was talking with a friend one day and we got on the subject of taking little kids fishing in the boat. I was explaining how I remembered taking Hot Wheels with me and had several in my tackle box over the years for the little guy. Now I have 2 little girls and started thinking if I was going to have to start stocking the boat with Barbie's and Little Pony's. My friend Kathy Roberts (I have to give her all of the credit for this idea) said to just take one of those little blow up swimming pools and set it in the bottom of the boat. Add a couple buckets of lake water and not only do the little ones have a place to play when they get tired of fishing, but also a place to cool off.  I thought it was a great idea and it needed to be shared with everyone wanting to hit the water but might be holding off because the sitter is out of town.

  Have fun and remember to take a kid fishing.

Predicting fish activity

Posted by: Kevin Winkler under Fishing, Equipment, Fishing Techniques Updated: June 22, 2009 - 3:51 PM
  Can solunar table's really help you out on the water? I'm not so convinced with any one chart myself. I have used several of them, and I think you have to dig deeper into the facts and what the fish are reacting to when it comes to the charts, and the type of fish you are targeting in the first place. Fish that are most active under the darkness of night and that use their eyes more than other senses to feed might use the moon to help them. But what if it's a full moon but very cloudy, Does the chart still help you? What if the water is dirty or stained? I think that depends on where you are fishing. Inland lakes are not effected by a tide like coastal waters are. I think barometric pressure has more to do with fish activity than anything. I spent seven years fishing the Gulf of Mexico both on commercial fishing boats and charter boats. One of the first things I was taught about saltwater fishing was how the moon and tides dictate fish movement. How and where to fish the tide and how bait fish react to the tide and moon. The only way to catch bait offshore at night is when there is no moon. The bait will then come to the lights on the boat. Once the moon comes up, the bait scatters and spreads back out. What does all of this have to do with fishing in Minnesota you might be thinking. Well I have used my saltwater knowledge to try and help me here. I feel that bait fish and the predators that feed on the bait will use moon light to help them. Fish will be more active under the moon, but can you use a chart to help you catch more fish? I think that depends on where the chart was printed, or more so, where the data was printed for. If any of you are hunters, you know that the DNR uses a table in the regulations hand book to help you know exactly how to add or subtract time to predict sunrise and sun set. The same goes for the moon, Know when it will rise and when it will set. Know if it rises at 7:37a.m. or 7:37p.m. So if you are reading a fish activity chart that was printed for Ohio and you are fishing in Minnesota, well you just might be off a few hours on your chart.

  I think fisherman have to think more like predators themselves when it comes to light conditions. Now what if it is cloudy? Do the fish still know if there is a moon when it is cloudy?  I feel that fish on inland waters can feel the moon just like they can feel barometric pressure change, after all, it is called gravitational pull. Just like changing weather, or the rise and fall of the barometer, fish can and will be more active during key times of the pull.

   So depending on what type of fish you are after, all of the changes mother nature has to offer us do change the way fish react. I love fishing for walleye, and try to think like one when I try to figure out where and when they might like to feed looking at everything around me. If it's sunny out, I wear my sun glasses ~ Or go deeper where there is less light penetration if it is calm, or maybe to the shade in the weeds and lay low. When it's dark out, I need to turn on the lights to bait the hook, but if the moon is out, I might not have to, it depends if there are clouds too. I feel less predictable when it is dark, almost like I am scattered or stumbling around, maybe a little less consistent in my movements but predictable in my habits.

  Over all I think it is more important to keep a journal for yourself as to where and what you are fishing for. Be sure to write down all of the data, moon rise and set times, your peak fish catching times during the day or night. cloudy or clear, what was the barometric pressure? Do you even have a barometer with you? Give yourself a few years of data and I think you will start to rely on your own moon phase charts and weather patterns to catch more fish.


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