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About TMF89

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    Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family
  • Birthday 12/13/1989

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    Twin Cities
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  1. Thinking of going up there for a few days with a couple friends. We're avid anglers, but we've never done this trip before. From what I can gather, the fish should be out deeper, on break lines? I'm guessing deep cranks, jigs, and rigs would be the way to go? I know there's a strong live bait bite, and thankfully I know how to work a lindy rig, so we'll be prepared for that as well. But since we've never been up there before, I'm looking for any and all pointers. Spots to look for, presentations, locations,what boat launch to use, where to stay, where to eat, all that good stuff. Even the date, what would you guys recommend? We were thinking mid-October, would you guys recommend that? Earlier? Later? Thanks guys!
  2. What's the fishing like up there guys?? My group and I are heading up on Wednesday for the rest of the week, and we're hoping for a good trip! The guys I'm going with went up there last year, so they know they lake a little, but we're still fairly new. So any advice on what the fish are doing right now would be appreciated! Especially anything relating to big walleye or pike, and perch. They didn't get into any really big fish last year, and no perch at all. Any advice, from spots to tactics to tips will be appreciated! Thanks guys!
  3. TMF89

    Watch out for crazy boaters!!

    People really are incredible. It's too bad they weren't out fishing, a handful of split shot really gets the message across! My two best/worst stories are: One time out on Mille Lacs we were cruising across the lake after dark, coming in from a reef. Well I saw a red light on the water and decided to investigate. It didn't have a green light and/or a white light, so I thought maybe it was a buoy, rather than a boat. Well we were heading in at a good clip, because A. We couldn't gauge the light's distance, and B. We were a couple of reckless high schoolers! So we get close to the light, and all of the sudden boom! A big, bright spotlight nails us and blinds us. I actually yanked the emergency shut-off cord out because I had to duck from the glare, and couldn't see where I was going. Turns out it was a dam launch sitting out on the middle of the lake with a group of late-night fisherman on it. They only had the one nav light going, not the green or white ones, and chose to wait until the very last second (for some dumb reason) to light us up with their spotlight, blinding us in the process. Another time I was on a local lake, and sucker fishing for pike/musky. Well we fish near the fishing pier, and a bunch of teenagers were out riding around old jetskis, the stand up kind with the hinged handlebars. Well they only had like three skis for about half a dozen kids. So they kept swapping, of course flying in past the fishing pier and my boat as they did. Well we started glaring and waving at them as they came by, and they stopped, except one kid. The others actually told him not to (that's how close they were to us), but he flew out past us, actually BETWEEN my bobber and the boat, over my line. Well I had two anchors down, and decided to try something. I cranked up the trim on my 115 Yamaha, and turned it on. Now it's a four-stroke, so you barely hear it idling. The kid certainly didn't! He came by on another pass, right by the boat, and I threw the throttle forward. I thought for a second I was going to rip loose an anchor, but the lines held and I kicked out the mother of all rooster tails....right into the kid as he drove by! Knocked the little $*%@ right off the jetski, and the thing shot off into the lake! He had to get picked up by another rider to go get his jetski, and they made wakes and got the hell out of there! Probably my proudest moment as a fisherman, while not catching a fish!
  4. Swimbait rods work pretty well for what you're thinking. I would say a 7'+ Heavy rod would do you well. At Gander we have the GSX Tournament rods, normally $99.99, they're down to $59.99 right now. A 7'6 heavy rod would work perfect for you, and I plan on picking up one for heavy pike fishing myself.
  5. TMF89

    Down and Side Imaging worth it?

    Well I agree with everyone 100% on side-imaging being a teaching tool, a search tool, and just something fun to play with! It looks like I'll go against the grain though when I say that I use DI way more than traditional sonar. I'm curious why you guys feel differently? Yes traditional sonar gives you a lot brighter, easier to to read images, but the DI is just so much more detailed! I would hate to miss a small rock pile or something like that, just to see the fish easier. After you train yourself to notice those small specks as fish, you're good to go, in my opinion. And Solbes, just an FYI. The length of the arc on your graph is not the size of the fish, that's just the amount of time the object has been under the sonar cone. The longer an an object sits underneath your sonar cone, the longer the image on your graph. For example, if you position your lure/bait under the cone and look at it on your graph, you'll see a solid line going across the screen. But it will be a very narrow line, because the thickness of the sonar return is what is going to give you the size of the object. Thicker arc/line, thicker fish/object. Going back to your bait/lure, it will show a steady line across the screen, but it will also be a very narrow line, because it is a small object. Hope that helped!
  6. Sorry guys! Been a busy week. I checked and it looks like it's a 13x19. Now my next question is what should I get instead? I've seen some guys saying they run 19s and get good performance, others saying they had to move down to a 17. Same thing with the other number. Now obviously different boats will need different props, but I've tried to keep my research to 17-18 foot console deep-v's, and I've still gotten mixed results. I'd appreciate any advice you guys could give.
  7. TMF89

    Gander Mountain Rods- Warranty

    One thing I'd like to add, is that warranty doesn't cover combos, at least according to my department manager. The rods that come with the combos are different than the ones we sell on their own, both physically and as far as the warranties are concerned. I've been told that after our standard 90 day return policy, we're not to have anything to do with the combo. Having said that, I've been part of situations where that policy was ignored several times, and I would guess that the majority of time the combos were returned without issue. However, as far as I know, the policy from corporate is that the rod/reel combos are not to be covered under the one year warranty. Now there are loopholes, and frankly most associates are going to try and do the right thing and help you, but you MAY run into a situation where they won't return the combo. And our rods have codes on the blank, just above the specifications in smaller lettering. There'll be a letter, and two numbers. C13, for example. C stands for the month, March in this case, and 13 stands for 2013. That tells us the rod was made in March of 2013. Now I'll be the first to admit the problem with this is rods can sit at the distribution center, down in storage at the store, and on the shelf for quite some time before they're sold. That C13 example is actually from a rod I saw on our racks earlier this week. So in theory if a customer bought that rod, broke it immediately, but lost his receipt, we wouldn't be able to do anything for him because the markings on the rod are already over a year old. Obviously that's not the right course of action, but again, that COULD happen. However us hourly associates will almost always try and help you out, it's usually managers who are sticklers for the rules that muck things up.
  8. Thanks for the tips guys, I'll pull the prop off sometime this weekend and see what the specs are on it. If I had an injector problem, wouldn't that have came up when my dad had the marina tune up he motor a year or two back? Thanks for the tip though.
  9. So I have a 2002 Yamaha F115 4-stroke on a 17' Lund Fisherman. For the last several years, I have noticed it seems to get really poor gas mileage, but I never got around to GPSing my distance and doing the calculations to figure it out. Well this week in Canada I finally took the time to figure out some stuff. We ran the boat about 10 miles each day (took it across a public lake to a secret portage, left the boat tied up in a well-used channel, so we didn't leave anything in it, like my HDS-8, that could get stolen). I'm a horrible estimator of distances, but I would be shocked if the trip across the lake was more than 3-5 miles, and probably closer to 3. Then when we filled up the tank (it was full at the start of the trip) we had to add 7.5 gallons. So that means with a total distance traveled of 12-20 miles, I was getting at most less than three gallons per mile, and probably closer to two. Now from everything I've read I should expect anywhere from 4-6mpg from my motor, and closer to 5-6. However, there's an additional bit of information. My RPMs are seeming to max out at about 4400. The motor sounds normal, but the RPMs aren't revving near their max, and my speed at full throttle (minimal load) is in the low-mid 30s, I think it should be almost 40. So my first thought is maybe it's a bad prop? We've gone through a couple, and the last one my dad had put on, so I don't know the specs of it. He knows next to nothing about this stuff; to him, a prop is a prop. I know a prop with the wrong pitch will affect your RPMs, which then would affect your speed. Would that affect your gas mileage (roughly cutting it in half) that drastically? I realize that I shouldn't expect my best mileage to be at full throttle, or even 4400rpm, but I can't imagine it would go down that drastically. One or two years ago the motor was serviced and tuned up by a local marina, and pronounced it good to go. Since then it's hardly been used (maybe 20 hours, if that). The oil/gear lube is a couple years old, but again it's barely been used, I do plan on changing it this fall though, if not sooner. Well that's all the information I can think to give you guys, does anyone have any advice/tips on how to figure out the problem? Thanks!
  10. TMF89

    New casing rod question??

    I know a lot of guys (self included) love the GSX Tournament rods. I plan on picking up a 7'6 medium heavy (or heavy, haven't decided yet) myself. And they're on sale right now for $59.99. I've also heard less than stellar things about the Skeet Reese rods, although I really like some of their actions when playing around with them in the store. Of course being that I work for Gander, I might be a bit biased!
  11. Hey guys, this year I got the excellent opportunity to work with Chad Thompson of Pasha Lake Cabins near Jellicoe, Ontario. I'll be doing several reports throughout the season from up there, and here is my first. We were up there from May 14th-19th, for reference. The date, May 10th, 2014. The place, Minnesota. The special occasion? Just the state's biggest holiday, Fishing Opener! It's about as big of a deal as you can get here in the Gopher state, and everyone's excited. However when people ask where I'm hitting for Opener, I have to say nowhere. I'm working, you see, I'm a sales associate at the Eden Prairie, Gander Mountain, in the fishing department. A job like that is great, except for small things. Small things like the fact that I've worked every Opener since I started with the company. But this time when I tell people that, and get those sympathetic looks, I tell them I'm not upset in the least. The reason for that? Four days from now, I'll be spending a very long weekend fishing some of the best waters Ontario, Canada has to offer. You see I've got a trip booked with Pasha Lake Cabins, near Lake Nipigon, up in Ontario. And when you've got a trip like that set up, you can tend to forgive little things like Opener weekend. Pasha Lake Cabins is a very well-laid out and furnished camp about three or four hours north of the Minnesota-Ontario border. The owner, Chad Thompson, has about a dozen cabins, as well as space for campers and tents, if you feel like roughing it a bit. The cabins are all well-furnished and comfortable; and the camp itself boasts a lodge, gazebo, fish cleaning house, and even a sauna! Some of the cabins have TVs, and Wi-Fi and long distance phone calls are available. I've stayed with many establishments in my roughly thirty trips north of the border, and Chad's establishment could hold best any of them in accommodations and creature comforts. Chad himself is a excellent host and outfitter, willing to work with customers on what they want to do and what they want to catch. He's extremely knowledgeable when it comes to the area's fishing, something he deserves a lot of credit for, when the area hosts dozens, if not hundreds of fishable lakes! As far as the fishing in general goes, you have about as many different opportunities up here (I use here, because what better way to write this than sitting in the lodge, listening to the loons talk excitedly outside?) as you could ask for. Want to go out and catch double digits, and even triple digits of walleyes? Chad's got you covered. In fact, he's got a secret spot so good, he basically guarantees you'll get one hundred walleyes, or your money back! And I've talked to multiple different sources who say that isn't a load of you know what! Want to catch twenty to thirty pound lake trout, and do it regularly? Lake Nipigon is about twenty minutes away, and boasts the best lake trout fishing this side of Great Slave Lake! Oh and while we're discussing the largest lake fully located inside Ontario (and a full 12% larger than Lake of the Woods), do you know where the world record Brook Trout was caught? I'll give you one guess. I'll also give you one guess where on a good day, you can go and expect to catch MULTIPLE Brookies in the five to eight pound range. Speaking of monster fish, let's not forget the apex predator of these waters, the Northern Pike. I would bet my honor as a fisherman that there are plenty of thirty to forty pounders in Nipigon, and I'm sure somewhere in there there swims a world record breaker. Now if you don't want to bring your own boat, book a charter, or just aren't a fan of a body of water larger enough to produce ten foot swells (although rarely), there are plenty of smaller bodies of water where the fishing is just as good, and you can stay out of the wind and the waves. In fact every day I've been up here I've learned at least a few new lake names, and they're all gems in their own way. Now I know what you're saying, “Tyler, this all sure does sound great, but how was YOUR trip??” Very kind of you to ask! My father and I spent the day driving up to Canada expecting that the “Polar Vortex” had hit Canada just as hard as us back Stateside, but we were not expecting this. Yikes! Now I'm not going to sugar coat it for you, when we showed up, Pasha Lake itself was mostly ice-locked, and most of our fishing destinations were chosen with the lack of hard water being the number one concern. As you can imagine, and as most of you probably found out during the MN Opener, the fish were about as unhappy with the situation as we were! The walleyes were looking at the photo period (daylight) and wanting to spawn, but with water temps mostly in the very low 40s, they had to wait it out in deep water. As most of you know, that combination makes for less than stellar fishing. But when you're a true, blue fisherman, with lake water running through your veins, there's only one thing you can do. Go fishing! Because remember folks, it's Fishing, not Catching! And after all, don't we all know that persistence can only be rewarded? After we put our time on the water, we finally found and patterned the fish. They were holding out in the deepest parts of the lake, waiting for the shallow water to warm up so they could move in. The name of the game was slow and steady, with a plain jig and a minnow, or relatively subtle soft plastic doing the trick. They definitely weren't active or aggressive, but when we slowed down our presentations, we began to put fish in the boat. Well folks, this has been my first report from PLC, but it definitely won't be my last! With so many different fishing opportunities to explore, I can't imagine ever getting tired of coming up here. I (or you) could dedicate an entire trip to a few bodies of water, one species of fish, or one technique of fishing, and keep yourself occupied for years without doing the same thing twice. That right there is something special, and enough to keep me coming back. The excellent accommodations, customer service, and fishing don't hurt either! My name is Tyler Flom, and if you have any questions about this excellent representation of what Ontario has to offer, please contact me via PM, And if you ever happen to be at Gander Mountain's Eden Prairie location, look me up. After all, getting paid talk about fishing for eight hours a day really is a great gig, but only if you have someone to talk with! Thanks for reading, and good luck out on the water! P.S. After speaking with Chad recently, it sounds like the fishing has gotten back to normal, and they're slaying them up there right now. When I was up there we went into Jackson Lake and dropped off some motors for the boats. We spent a few hours trying for the fish, but they were definitely out deep, and I wasn't familiar enough with the lake to find them. Plus the decent amount of frostbite on my toes from the watery trek in didn't help either! However Chad said that a group that headed out there recently reported almost 100 walleyes in the boat in one day, so it looks like they finally turned on! I'll hopefully be making a few trips back up there throughout this season, and having barely scratched the surface of what the area around Pasha Lake Cabins and Lake Nipigon has to offer, I for one can't wait!
  12. TMF89

    Thanks Gander...

    From the sound of it, you guys are talking about our Advantage series of rods. They go for $39.99. Otherwise the next step up would be the Classics, which are $59-69.99. However both rods are often on sale anywhere from 20-30% off. The Advantages have an IM6 graphite blank, and the Classics are IM8s. I regularly hear customers saying our Classics are a fantastic value for the money as far as sensitivity and weight go, and the Advantages make excellent value rods, great work horses. Up from there we have our GSX (Guide Series Extreme) Tournament rods, they go for $99.99. They're my favorite rod we make, I have a few and I really like them for their action. They're light, sensitive, with a relatively smooth but stiff action. Enough backbone to put it to em with jigs, but a smooth taper that handles heavier lures well. One thing I will say about our most popular rods by far, the Vortexes, is...Yeah. They're almost always on sale for $14.99-19.99, and for that price they're a good value. Sensitive and light if nothing else. But they "retail" for $59.99. Please don't ever pay that much for them. Lol Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you guys, I just got back from an early-season trip up to Ontario, near Nipigon. I should be posting a report of it on here in the near future, if you guys want to keep an eye out for it.
  13. TMF89

    NanoFil keeps breaking

    I spooled up two different reels with 8lb NF at the start of last season. Went up to Mille Lacs and caught probably three dozen pike, with half a dozen over 36", throwin big spoons all weekend. Fantastic right? Two months later I'm up in Canada on a fly-in, and I had more break-offs than any other fishing trip in my life. I couldn't even try to pop the jigs off snags, the line would just snap. Wound up switching to backup spools of 6/8lb XL because that was far stronger. Haven't touched the stuff since. Seems like people either love or hate the stuff, not consistent enough for me.
  14. TMF89

    Looking at new Lowrance

    The Elite 4 HDIs have been extremely popular in my experience, and I think the value you get is fantastic. The larger screen and the down imaging really give it a leg up over the the old Elite 4s, and the Humminbird 300 series units. I plan on getting one and adapting it to a portable unit for my Canada trips.
  15. TMF89

    Anyone else fishing lake trout on Opener?

    I'll probably be focusing on pike for the few days after Opener that I'm in the States. On the 14th or 15th I'll be heading up for a week in Northern Ontario chasing trout and pike, hopefully with some walleye thrown in too! Never fished early season trout, so I'm pumped to try something new!