Ryan Ramacher

Ryan Ramacher is an avid walleye angler who competes in the Minnesota Tournament Trail with his wife, Nikki. They are one of the few husband and wife teams in the MTT. They enjoy competitive sports and have found tournament fishing to be an enjoyable way of spending time together.

Lake Mille Lacs Tournament Win

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher under Fishing, Bait, Equipment, Fishing Techniques, Walleye, Outdoors Women Updated: September 2, 2009 - 1:08 PM

August 22nd and 23rd was the 16th stop for the 2009 Minnesota Tournament Trail season, held at Hunters Point Resort on Lake Mille Lacs.  This was a two day tournament and was the last stop before the upcoming championship at Lake of the Woods.  Each of the 71 teams that were competing were allowed four fish to the scale each day, only one of which could be over 28 inches.

For pre-fishing Friday we worked the East Flat, Barnicles Flat, and did some open water trolling in search of some bigger fish.  The walleyes seemed to be stacked on both flats as well as being active in the deeper water.  On Friday it seemed they preferred the slower presentation on the flats, but high winds made it difficult to stay on the edges there.  Going into Saturday, the plan was to work these same areas since the forecast was predicting less wind which would allow us to fish these targeted areas a little easier.

Saturday started off pretty slowly for us, and we didn't catch our first slot fish until five hours into the day.  The bite seemed to be a little different than it was on Friday as the fish seemed to be more spread out.  After rigging for a few hours and not producing any slot fish we decided to start pulling some crank baits to cover more water and find the more aggressive fish faster.  After trying ever color crank bait in the box, we caught our first slot fish at noon on a #5 white glass shad.  Wow, did the flood gates open then!  We trolled between 1.7 and 2.0 mph using 2 1/2 colors of lead core line.  Within a few hours we had our limit of some nice slot fish and we came in with a weight of 6.16 lbs.  This was enough to land us in 9th place after day one.  Our goal for Sunday was to try and get some slot fish early and spend the rest of the day deep water trolling for one over 28 inches.

Sunday morning we headed out to the East Flat with this game plan in mind, which worked out great as we had four nice slot fish in the box by 10:30.  We then decided to try some open water trolling near the Blue Jug Flat in order to target for one over the 28 inch slot.  Although we did not find that big walleye, we were able to upgrade one of our smaller slot fish.  We knew that we had a pretty good weight going in to the scales, but also that we'd have to produce more than a 7 lb limit to have a shot.  To our surprise our 7.25 lbs bag turned out to be the largest of the weekend and was enough to put us into the lead.  We managed to hold onto this lead and took home our first big tournament win!

Our last stop will be the upcoming Championship at Lake of the Woods on September 17th and 18th.  The top seventy five teams of the year qualify for this tournament.  Make sure to watch the Minnesota Tournament Trail website for updates on scheduling as this event is televised on Midwest Outdoors.  The winner of the weekend will take home a 2009 Skeeter WX1880 powered by a 150 Yamaha four stroke. 

Fishing Small Rivers in Mid-Summer

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher under Fishing, Bait, Equipment, Fishing Techniques, Northerns, Walleye Updated: July 7, 2009 - 8:36 PM
Some of our small Minnesota rivers have some great multi-species fishing opportunities available.  Just try hitting the Rum, Snake or Mississippi River and you'll see the wide range of species they offer.  You just never know what you're going to hook in to!  It is not uncommon to come home with your limit of Walleye after fishing these rivers, but you can also find yourself catching some great Small Mouth Bass or an occassional large Pike.  The great thing about river fishing is you don't need large quantities of bait and tackle; just a few of the right ones and you're set. 

Looking at the picture you can see what my river tackle box consists of.  These are a few of my favorite lures.  The Exchange Jig made by Lindy is a great jig for river fishing, it is easy to use and can be tipped with almost anything.  It is very versitile jig for river fishing conditions.  It is easy to change weights to target specific depths and colors to see what the fish are keying in on without ever having to retie a line.  Live baits are not always necessary and that is why I bring my favorite immitation minnows and crawlers.  

This time of year don't let the mosquitoes, deer flies, or other insects keep you away from the rivers.  Instead try using a section of a dryer sheet tucked into your hat, shirt, pants, or shoes.  I've found the scented ones work the best.  This is something I use to keep the bugs away and it has worked really well!  Make sure to wash your hands after handling the dryer sheets though.  I use Lindy Non-Scent Soap to wash the smell away. 

When fishing these rivers, target areas such as current breaks, deep outside turns, small wing dams where slack water meets the current, and overhanging trees and brush.  I like to work upstream when waiting so that I am not turning up the river bottom and sending sediment into the target area where I want to fish.  However, if you are traveling downstream, spend a little extra time fishing your target area because a lot of fish will spook to the downstream edges of holes and then slowly move back in.

Don't feel like you have to hold down the couch on a windy day because your favorite big lake is too rough, try fishing a river instead!!!

Great Day on the water

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher under Fishing, Equipment, Fishing Techniques, Walleye Updated: June 7, 2009 - 8:36 PM

Saturday morning we headed out to Lake Mille Lacs for some great Walleye fishing.  Early morning we fished on top of our favorite rock reef in about 23-26 feet, later in the day we dropped off the edges in 27-30 feet.  We seemed to be marking large schools about 1 foot off the bottom so we decided to drag an 8 foot snell with an orange Lindy float.  My wife Nikki started the day off when she hoooked into a nice 27 3/4'' Walleye.  We continued on to catch several 19-21'' fish throughout the day mixing in some nice slots.  Trolling with the bow mount at speeds of .1 to .8 mph allowed us to hover over these schools and double several times  This seemed to be the ticket as we caught quite a mixed bag of Walleyes.  Our plan of attack for the day had been to hit several spots but after landing fish on the rock reef we decided to grind it out there for the day.  We heard reports of some fish coming off the flats as well as some of the gravel bars.

After a great weekend of fishing it is now time to change gears and get our game plan together for our upcoming  MTT tournament at Lake Winnibigoshish June 13th and 14th.

See you on the Water!


Open Water Trolling for Walleyes

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher under Fishing, Equipment, Fishing Techniques, Walleye Updated: May 21, 2009 - 8:44 PM
As summer approaches the water temperatures warm and many Minnsota lakes start to develop a wider range of fishable locations.  Many midlake structures starts to hold fish as well as basin areas.  Fish tend to be on the edges of flats, rock reefs, and suspended in the basin adjacent to spawning areas..  When water temps reach the 60's fish will start schooling up in these areas and large post-spawn females will start actively feeding.

Many Walleyes tend to develop a deep water pattern chasing Cisco&Shad after recuperating from spawning.  These deep water patterns are where my favorite techniques develop.  I start roaming the basin areas targeting the suspended fish, the ones that you find tight to the bottom are not always actively feeding.  Once I have targeted my suspended fish and their depths I go to work.

My technique of choice is to run a #8 shad rap, blue or silver in color, on 12lb fire line with 3 colors of led core and a 12ft leader of flourocarbon.  I use a 7ft medium action rod with a good line counter reel.  I like to run planer boards using a zig zag trolling approach at 2-3mph.  Running lead core gives me an opportunity to use a wider variety of lures, without lead core you can try using snap weights or pulling a Rapala such as a DT11 or a deep Reef Runner to acheive these same depths.

This summer don't be afraid to head out to the basin areas, put the trolling rods in the rod holders and sit back and relax, you'll be glad you did.

Preparing For First Tournament

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher under Walleye Updated: May 13, 2009 - 10:53 PM
The cold, rainy and misrable conditions sure didn't seem to keep the hundreds of anglers away opening morning.  In the north sand everyone seemed to be hooking into fish.  Many anglers had to work a little bit harder to pick up their keepers due to the slot restrictions.  6 to 8 foot snells with a hook and a small bead tipped with a leech appeared to be the ticket as the bite didn't seem to be that aggressive, perhaps due to the front that moved in on Friday.  Saturday night the bite seemed to improve with the Walleyes becoming more aggressive on the shallow rocks and wind blown points.  We are looking forward to the bite improving if we get some stable weather throughout the week.

This weekend is our first MTT tournament for the 2009 season, the tournament is held out of Hunter's Point Resort on Lake Mille Lacs.  We will be prefishing Thursday and Friday and trying some more aggressive approaches than tactics used for opener.   We will be moving at quicker speeds to cover more ground searching for aggressive slot fish.  These higher speeds, in the right conditions, tend to create more of a reaction bite.  These 2 days of prefishing will determine our game plan for Saturday morning.

Going into the first tournament we find ourselves extremely excited and nervous with anticipation and it reminds us of how much this is the best time of year!