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.

Posts about Bait

Lake Mille Lacs Tournament Win

Posted by: Ryan Ramacher 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 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!!!