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About stiffwater

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    Jr HSOList.com Family
  • Birthday 01/30/1970

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  • Location:
    Shakopee MN
  1. Hey guys...I cannot thank you all enough for your compliments and encouragement on my little 'story'. You've certainly inspired me to contribute more often! For the next two weeks however, I'm going to be traveling and won't have many opportunities to check-in. You see, in addition to fishing my 'season of a lifetime', another one of my goals is to take one my older brother's on a little roadtrip. He has leukemia and sadly this may be our last chance to do something like this. He's very much a father-figure for me and he's the one responsible for introducing me to ice fishing some twenty-five years ago. Tonight we're in Bloomington IL and tommorrow hopefully we'll make it to eastern TN to visit our sister and then off to central FL to visit another brother. We come from a big family and I'm #8 of the 9 kids. I look forward to sharing more stories when I return.... Cheers, Stiffwater
  2. thank you for all the well wishing! It's now my time to venture away from the lake and explore the deep south. Perhaps if this experience is as worthwhile, I'll post again. Till then, keep your lines tight and never discount what could be a "junk bite"
  3. The most unlikely secret I can offer, for ice fishing or pretty much anything else beyond for that matter, is believing that "your dream"...or anything else can actually happen.......the funny thing is, at least with ice fishing, the sometimes secret is the simpler you fish the quicker the fish come...my best successes have been achieved with little more than bare hooks and sinkers. Not good for the tackle manufacturers I realize....but truth is what truth is!
  4. Thank you Northlander! For more years than I can recall, you're one of the perpetual voices of reason on these forums. Thank you for all the common sense wisdom as well as your equally entertaining post!
  5. Thank you again for the compliments. And for those feeling just a bit jealous...remember one key thought...it all starts with a single idea. For me, it all came together on a BW trip about almost two years ago....but the key element is the thought never left my mind and it became one of my personal objectives. I guess the best thing I learned was that once you decide something is possible, the only thing left for you to make it happen...is for you to decide you can actually do it! Yeah, yeah I realize that may be a bit 'heavy' for some...but the wierd thing is...it actually kinda works!
  6. Glad you enjoyed it! I post very infrequently, but this was "just one of those times' I had to share.
  7. Thanks Dtro...your posts have always been both informative and entertaining. I've spent just a limited time fishing the rivers and I would love to spend more time exploring...I've now learned the secret to catching a lot of fish is simple....fish a lot!
  8. I've been a long-time reader of these forums and I think, after all these years, I finally have a post/story that I think most of you may enjoy....please forgive me thought if I’m a little long winded… Have you ever wondered what it would be like to focus almost all your energy on ice fishing for an entire season? Well, I was just crazy enough to actually make that happen! Last summer I did the very irrational thing of quitting my job, selling my home in the cities and moving up north! Fortunately I have a small cabin (co-owned w/ a brother) on a little lake between Hackensack & Longville (please forgive if I don't share the exact lake). Over the past 10 years I’ve always had at least moderate success with finding nice Wally’s in the winter, but at the same time, it was always my dream to take a year off from work and REALLY dial them in. So put simply, with the most convenient definitions….I actually made that dream happen.! Since Dec 1, I was able to fish about 80 evenings, plus a ton of mornings. When you fish alone and have all the time in the world, 2-5 hours a day is about all you can really stand. In that time (and I sooo wish I had kept a journal), I can still honestly say I caught somewhere between 300 and 350 walleye plus countless numbers of pike, perch and rockies! Just for the record, I’m not a fish-hog, and of all those fish, I only cut about 60.…and I can truly say I’ve eaten my fill of walleye for a year. I was fortunate enough to to be very selective in my harvest and just kept fish from 14 to 18”. Those are truly the best eaters! It goes without question thought, I released a ton of fish! Also, for the unofficial record, I’m sure at least 50 of those released were well over 20”….the absolute very best of which was 29.5! Needless to say, any one of my family or friends that joined me on weekends always had at least one good fish-fry during their visit and at the end, they could always muster-up at least a nice package of fish for them to take home. But I think I diverge from my original point… The real story behind this “story” so-to-speak, is you would not believe all the things you get to see and experience when you’re almost the only soul out on a lake, way up in the north country, for so many nights. Some of the highlights I can recall right now include: -Hearing the lake “making ice” right before my first night out…holy [email protected]$$, when you have no other noise around…its frigggin loud! -Being the first and only soul out on early ice (4“)…right arm and shoulder absolutely burning from checking ice every 10 feet for almost a ¼ mile with only the crows and eagles to keep me company. -Hooking and bringing in 20+ inch walleyes back-to-back so fast that the slush bucket was full of waving tails because I didn’t yet have time to actually measure and release them yet. -Meeting a huge deer at my tip-up….seriously, a change of drawers was nearly required! -Fishing in the middle of a snowstorm where you can’t even see your snowmobile just 5 ft away….much less see the shore! After one time of getting “lost“ on the lake, I made it a habit to always point the sled towards home before I shut if off. J -Watching an adult bald eagle drop down and grab a dead shiner just mere feet from my open door…holy S*^#…they are huge!. -Having a 30” pike tangle not only my line, but a buddy’s as well.. his lines were almost 20 ft away….needless to say, I fish with light mono! -Seeing first-hand the irrefutable, direct correlation between barometric pressure, weather systems and fishing success…..and for the record, fishing 24-36hrs before a big low pressure can be absolutely out-of-this-world! -Inviting a lake neighbor to fish right next to me and every time I go back to my house to check my lines….I come back with a big fish…..a 25.4, 27 & 28, all within 20 min’s! Each time I knocked on their door, I entered saying “Holy [email protected]$$, I need your help…..only to tell them I needed their help to take my picture with this big fish” (sorry, I didn’t posted any pics with this post, like I said I‘ve always pretty much been just a listener!). -Experiencing first-hand just how incredibly bright a full moon, a clear sky and a fresh coat of snow can be….you seriously could read a newspaper out there! -And last, but not least, having all my lake neighbors I’ve met over the winter join me on my “spot” (invited, of course) to spend the final weekend of the wally-gator season pulling fish and sharing good times and great stories! Just to be clear to everyone reading, my purpose in telling this story is not to accumulate any accolades or criticisms, but to hopefully inspire those of you, who might be out there, and who may see that proverbial ‘door crack open’ and have life present the possibility of just ‘letting go’……its truly an experience that you will never, ever forget! Hands-down, doing this was the coolest thing I have ever done. And just to be clear, I’m a man of very modest means, but if life were to ever present to you an opportunity like mine……please don’t hesitate! You will not regret! Soon I must return to work, but at least in the interim, I cannot think of a better way to have spent a Minnesota winter. Kind regards and Cheers! Stiffwater
  9. mnmuzzleloader - Thanks for the tip on the baitshops! Maybe I just haven't caught him at the right time. I've been in there a dozen or so times in the past three years and have always left feeling my business is more tolerated than appreciated.
  10. No, I don't believe I have. Would be interested in fishing it sometime. Locally, I tend to fish the lakes in the New Prague/Montgomery/Lonsdale area because of in-laws and friends who know those lakes well.
  11. Thanks. I'll keep that one in mind if I'm on that side of the metro. Does anyone know of another baitshop near Shakopee?
  12. I also live in Shakopee and know that baitshop all too well. Where is this Vados baitshop you mentioned. I would love to give my business to someone who actually appreciates it!!
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