One-stop shopping even when you are not sure what to buy
Buy a $15 coupon to support Youth and Military Veterans, earn up to $5,000 in discounts
By Forrest Fisher
Most outdoor folks have little time for shopping, even for their loved ones and best friends of the outdoors. Well now, the 2019 Online Holiday Sportsman Show can help you make a good choice in very little time with their interactive online shopping offers. Visit the outdoor show halls to find exceptional outdoor products and gifts at discount prices for everyone on your list. The Online Show allows shoppers to avoid crowds, traffic, and parking. Stay at home and visit with hundreds of exhibitors to help make selecting the perfect outdoor gifts for outdoor enthusiasts easier than ever.
If you are looking for even deeper discounts on great products at the Holiday Sportsman Show, consider a $15 Fundraiser coupon package will open the door to more than $5,000 of exclusive savings for a wide range of gifts and products. Gain instant cash discounts and 10 to 50 percent discounts on larger offerings, like a fishing trip or hunting trip vacation. The best part is that this coupon purchase will directly benefit our youth, conservation and U.S. veteran groups across the United States. For more information on the Fundraiser Coupon, visit www.holidaysportsmanshow.com and click on “Discount Coupons” at the bottom of the opening page. The fundraiser program helps consumers extend their holiday purchasing power while supporting Kids, Conservation and Veterans.
With the Holiday Sportsman Show, sit back, relax and have a stress-free holiday shopping experience. The show is open through Dec. 31.
The Online Holiday Sportsman Show is a property of Vexpo Marketing that also produces the award-winning www.SharetheOutdoors.com website.
Fill your Holiday Gift List with a BIG Discount and Help 4H, Veterans, and others
If you own an outdoor business, check this out
KANSAS CITY, Mo.– Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will all the beautiful shops in the Holiday Sportsman Show. Time is running out for brands that want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to participate in the 2019 Holiday Sportsman Show that will feature an interactive online shopping experience with outdoor show halls. From Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 visitors can tour the virtual halls 24-hours a day, where they will find exceptional outdoor products and gifts at remarkable prices for everyone on their list.
With over half a million consumers slated to receive a signed up for email with an instant click-in to the show, brands participating in this show will be racking up the fourth-quarter sales. The complete sale goes back to the brand, making it even a better business decision to get in the Holiday Sportsman Show before time runs out.
The web designing staff at the Holiday Sportsman Show is in full swing designing storefronts. Placing your brand in the show is easy. It is extremely important to get them started on your design – merely select the products you want to feature and they will use your website for information, images and everything they need. You will get final approval of all design work before things go live.
It is easy. It makes money. It supports good causes. What are you waiting for? Fill out this form CLICK HERE and return via email to email@example.com as soon as possible. Not only is time running out, but some categories are filling up.
The Online Holiday Sportsman Show is a property of Vexpo Marketing, based in Missouri. Vexpo Marketing develops digital products designed to serve outdoor activities and outdoor consumers, including businesses and organizations that provide goods and services for outdoor recreation. The Holiday Sportsman Show was created to provide a digital platform to provide cost-effective digital marketing for outdoor companies and enjoyable online content for buying consumers.
Karen Lutto and I had barely shaken hands with the Yamaha outboard motor team when they gave us the Yamaha Marine “Hot Sheet” for their V- MAX/SHO 200Hp X-Shaft. As I looked over the motor specs, Product Education Manager, Ry Landry, provided even more “goodness details” for this newest member of the Yamaha outboard motor family. Dealer Communications Manager, Melissa Boudoux, suggested that we take a test drive – there was a test boat and motor at the AmericInn Hotel boat dock in La Crosse, WI. Having owned and managed an outdoor marine store for 19 years, I have driven thousands of boat and motor combinations, so I never lose interest in one more test drive if you know what I mean.
After the ride, Karen and I both agreed, “The V-MAX/SHO 200 X-Shaft needs some bragging!” This Yamaha 200Hp-V6 is a well-rounded motor package. Boat types from pontoons to Deep V’s to bass boats perform well with a 6-cylinder/200Hp engine, while 4-cylinder/200Hp motors are just not the same. The 4-cylinder engines might deliver 200 horsepower at wide-open throttle, but it takes a while, they do not have the mid-range torque of a V-6 either. Plenty of torque is what makes a motor fun to operate at cruising speeds, and from start to finish.
Here is what is notable about this new member of the Yamaha V MAX SHO family:
It is a 4-stroke and the 25-inch shaft length makes the motor a good fit for a wide range of boat types and hull sizes.
The 200 X-Shaft is naturally aspirated which means it makes 200 HP without needing a supercharger. No supercharger means fewer parts in the motor and that means higher reliability.
Operating cost matters, supercharged engines love to stop at the gas pump.
Yamaha’s decision to go with plasma-fused sleeveless makes for a compact and lightweight package, weighing in at only 555 lbs.
Most 4-stroke outboards have a smooth and quiet idle and this 200 was very quiet at idle, and also had a low noise level at wide-open throttle. This 200 also has Yamaha’s variable camshaft timing system which develops more power at midrange. Lots of good things here.
What stood out most? Instant acceleration. It’ll push you back in your seat throttle response.
We both thought it was a 2-Stroke! Pure out-of-the-hole power. With three passengers and running a 3-blade, 18 pitch prop, the 200 effortlessly pushed the Deep V hull to 57 mph and the rep added that the motor was strong enough to run a 19 pitch prop which would edge past 60mph. This is a lots-to-like motor.
For more information go to www.yamahaoutboards.com or stop by your local dealer for a test drive. Before you push the throttle down on the 200 X-Shaft, make sure your hat is on tight!
Outdoor Adventure Power in the dark is no mystery with this new, super-high capacity pocket power pack.
Why do we need a SMALL portable charger with BIG energy?
By Tyler Mahoney
As much as many of us would hate to admit, we all probably need a solution for a portable charger when we are out hunting and fishing. In between cell phones or GoPro’s, it seems there is always something that needs a charge.
Our outdoor excursions often times last for hours. Even if you’re not spending much time on your phone or other electronic devices out in the wild, sometimes the weather can cause the battery to die as well. Having a full charge becomes a safety factor these days, too. A dead phone isn’t going to help save you if you fall from a tree stand and can’t move to get help.
I happened across Nocqua pretty much by accident. My good friend, David Gray, attended the 2019 iCast and came across their booth. The company representative offered him the power bank for free just to try. David returned and knew that I have the opportunity to be out in the woods or on the water quite often. So, he gave it to me to put to the test.
I’m glad he did.
(Click picture below for short video)
My initial thoughts and feedback:
The Nocqua Adventure Gear Powerbank is extremely small and lightweight. This is extremely beneficial when it comes to how effective outdoorsmen can be while packing gear for their trips. Weight can add up in a hurry, so something thin and compact is very important.
While it is very small, it keeps charging for a long time. I’ve only had it 10 days, but have used it 5 times during that span to power my GoPro and my cell phone. Each usage was between 2-4 hours. I’ve only recharged it twice.
To me, that’s extremely impressive. I probably could have gotten away with only charging it once, but I’m one of those people that would rather be safe than sorry so I don’t miss out on any recording opportunities with a dead GoPro.
While my experience with it has been short, I am extremely impressed with its performance so far.
A big benefit of being in the fishing business is attending the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST. Held in Orlando each summer, ICAST gives a preview of all the new fishing equipment, tackle, marine and outdoor products that fishermen everywhere are going to see very soon and want, perhaps, even sooner.
Of all the new, interesting and innovative products – there are many, my favorite is always the new fishing lures. Every year there are literally hundreds of new lures or variations to current lures. Some lures are futuristic, some are perfectly shaped and colored, some are changed in other ways – many of them have anglers dreaming of catching a fish with every cast. The new lures and variations are that convincing.
Not too many anglers can resist trying out these new lures. Every year I stock up on more than I should, but they all look so good and some turn out to be valuable additions to my tackle box. If you don’t try them, you will never know if they would work for you or not. Beside, trying them is part of the fun!
Last year, I stocked up with 18 of the new LIVETARGET swim baits. Most of them were in the larger sizes and had very different actions than what I would have thought. The old adage is, “Big fish like Big meals,” and that means…throw Big Baits. Sometimes that is true and sometimes it isn’t, but the LIVETARGET swim baits proved that adage true for me. When fishing them in farm ponds, it seemed that they attracted the larger bass time after time. A crank and drop retrieve was magic on most days.
This year at the ICAST show, LIVETARGET once again caught my “Angler Eye” with their innovative Injected Core Technology (ICT). I have not had a chance to test these just yet, but they just look like they are so good, I already have that magical feeling…that they will catch fish, especially the Slow Roll Shiner and Ghost Tail Minnow. While you never know until you get one to the water, I will be finding out very soon. Even the names of these lures are catchy!
Joella Bates coaching former JoCamp students, Trevor Funcannon and Brooke Hultz.
First memory of shooting a bow was at 4-H Conservation Camp
After a home burglary, her dad bought Joella an Indian compound bow, history was in the making
Today, Joella Bates is an 11-time 3-D Archery World Champion and teaches young people archery skills
By David Gray
If you follow competitive archery, Joella Bates is a name that stands out. Among Joella’s many accomplishments, she is an 11-time 3-D Archery World Champion. Even more impressive is that she won five of the championships using a Compound Bow, five with a Recurve Bow and one with a Long Bow.
Add to her individual accomplishments being a team member on Team USA’s 2017 World Archery 3-D championship win.
For all who meet Joella, it only takes 30 seconds to become infected with her enthusiasm and energy for helping youngsters learn archery.
As a kid she grew up in the outdoors. Her Dad was an outdoor guy. Joella says, “I was my Dad’s shadow.” When he went to the woods or the lake he took me and introduced me to wonderful world of hunting, fishing and shooting.
The shooting however was not with a bow. It was always with a rifle. Using what Dad had taught her and her considerable competitive spirit, she developed an exceptional skill with the rifle. In college at the University of Tennessee, she soon found herself on the college rifle team.
Still, archery was not part of her life. Her first memory of shooting a bow was at a 4-H Conservation Camp event when she was in the ninth grade. At the camp, the 4-H kids could shoot at the rifle range and the instructor let them compete for snacks. When Joella kept winning all the snacks the instructor finally said, “Why don’t you go try archery.” That’s when the magic started to happen.
Her first memory shooting a bow was not good. She only remembers the string hitting her arm and it hurt. Determined to figure out how to shoot a bow and wanting to win a trip to a 4-H Round Up event, Joella asked her Dad to help. He brought out his old compound for practice and she only remembers losing seven of his arrows.
While in college the family firearms where lost in a home burglary. Her guns were gone, but Dad knew she wanted to figure out how to shoot a bow, so he bought Joella a used Indian compound.
The bow did not fit, but she practiced. The draw length was too long and Joella remembers, “I ended up black, blue and purple all over.”
In 1989 after college, working with Tennessee Wildlife Research, a coworker offered, “I have a friend who owns a bow shop and he can set up one to fit you. If you learn to shoot it I will take you bowhunting.” At 28 years of age, Joella got her first bow properly set up with instruction on how to shoot it.
Her skills learned from rifle hunting helped. After much practice, she was invited to go bowhunting.
Joella says, “That was another giant learning experience. I had a world record case of Buck Fever and missed my first five deer. Later that first season, I did harvest my first bowhunting deer.”
In 2001, Joella began traveling, hunting, fishing, writing and speaking about the sports. “I was not getting rich, but I was paying the bills and making many friends.”
She received invitations to hunt around the world.
Joella is the first lady hunter to take the “Big 5 of Africa” bowhunting and the first lady to arrow the “Turkey Grand Slam.”
A love for teaching archery and especially helping young people to get started the right way, lead to the start of JoCamps. This is an archery instruction school that travels to the community the students live in which saves travel time and expenses for the students and parents.
JoCamps include the National Training System used to prepare archers for the Olympics and International competition.
At the recent MONASP (Missouri National Archery in Schools Championship), Joella…while tutoring young shooters, reunited with Brooke Hultz and Trevor Funcannon, former JoCamp participants.
Trevor said, “Joella actually teaches you how to be a better shot, her methods are very effective.”
Brooke said, “The JoCamp method is different and really works.”
Joella Bates can shoot, but to share and teach archery is what she loves the most.
If you have a youngster or archery team interested in a JoCamps archery training event contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.” — Fred Rogers By Larry Whiteley
In 2001, Roy Grimes was the Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. He was assigned the task of creating what eventually became the National Archery in the Schools Program better known as NASP®.
Roy designed it as an in-school program to aim at improving educational performance among students in grades 4th – 12th. Through the sport of archery he wanted them to learn focus, self-control, discipline, patience, and the life lessons required to be successful in the classroom and in life.
Since the program officially started in 2002 it has seen over 10 million kids all over America discover a great activity that doesn’t discriminate based on popularity, athletic skill, gender, size, or academic ability. It is open to any student. The biggest supporters are professional educators because they feel it improves school attendance, increases their confidence, improves behavior and gives them increased physical activity. In 2007 the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) agreed to coordinate the Missouri Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP®). In those eleven years more than half a million Missouri students have participated. There are now 690 schools that participate. Over 200,000 students are learning the lifetime sport of archery and all MoNASP teaches as part of their school curriculum.
The MoNASP State Tournament is now the second largest state archery tournament in the nation and continues to grow. The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) once again partnered with MDC to host the tournament March 22 – 24 at the Branson Convention Center in Branson, MO. Proceeds from the event go to support MoNASP programs and conservation programs in Missouri.
This year there were over 3,300 students from 224 schools competing and many will be going on to compete at NASP national tournaments in Salt Lake City and Louisville with some continuing on to the world championships in July at Nashville.
There were also 94 students competing in the ASPIRE MoNASP Tournament which is for students who did not have a position at the state tournament due to space or they were students who weren’t able to shoot a state qualifying score this year.
Many of the over 15,000 spectators that came to watch the competition didn’t have a child or grandchild taking part in the tournament but they enjoyed watching and cheering on the kids. There were lots of other activities to enjoy over the 3 days of the event. Bass Pro Shops hosted an Indoor/Outdoor Days with catch and release fishing, archery activities, bounce houses, air guns and animals from the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium.
Russ and Diskey the Frisbee Stunt Dog Team were also there along with Mountain Man from Duck Dynasty. There were special shows by Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Presley’s Country Jubilee. The World’s Largest Sidewalk Sale was held at Tanger Outlet and The Landing. RVs, boats and ATVs and archery exhibitors were on display along with a Corvette Club Show. Adults enjoyed attending the Sip the Ozarks event and sampling Missouri wines, spirits and beer.
A big thank you goes to all the sponsors and those that volunteered their time to make this such a special event for these kids. All of the activities and students competing for their schools combined to make a great weekend for all who were there.
The MoNASP State Tournament was an opportunity for students to not just grow their target archery skills but also their character. It was an opportunity to be with family and friends as well as make new friends. At this moment in time they felt really special. As a friend of mine said, “It warms your heart and gives you hope for the future to see all the smiles on these kids’ faces.”
Thanks to Roy Grimes back in 2001 and all those involved today, thousands of kids’ lives have been changed forever because of the sport of archery.
For more information go to www.mochf.org and click on the MoNASP drop down.
If You’re Not Catching 100 Fish a Day, We’ll send a Guide with You
Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Musky
Fly-In Paradise in Ontario, Canada
By David Gray
Every January, Jeanne MacLean leaves the far north and makes a trek back to her home state of Missouri. Jeanne says it is like “coming back home.” She comes to visit friends and to set up a display in the Kansas City Boat and Sportshow for her Fletcher Lake Lodge.
Jeanne has many ties to Missouri. She was born and raised in Trenton, Missouri. Her father, Fuzz LePage, was a career Missouri Highway Patrolman. Few knew his real first name, everyone just called him Fuzz. He had a love for law enforcement and when off duty, he had a love for flying.
When Jeanne was 14 and Fuzz had 20 plus years as a Highway Patrol Officer, Fuzz retired from active law enforcement and moved the family to Warroad, Minnesota. Fuzz purchased a flight service business and began serving lodges, as well as anglers and hunters, flying customers and gear into remote Canadian locations.
One day on a return flight, Fuzz pulled back the throttle on his float plane, dropped into Fletcher Lake and taxied to the lodge dock. Fuzz wanted to meet the owners and thought he might pick up a new customer, offering them his flight services. In this part of Ontario, there are thousands of lakes, many of them gems, with Fletcher Lake being one of those diamond gems. The lodge owner informed Fuzz that his wife had recently passed away and he was going sell the lodge.
Fuzz made a quick return flight and told Jeanne, “Get a bank loan quick and buy Fletcher Lake Lodge.”
Jeanne did just that, buying the lodge in 1981. The first part of the lodge was constructed in 1960.
Prior to the 1983 fishing season, a forest fire swept thru the region burning the camp and destroyed the lodge. Only one of the 14 structures, a guest cabin survived. Considering the size of the rebuild task, it was amazing that their crew pitched in to rebuild the lodge and enough cabins to take care of all the incoming guests.
After High School, Jeanne worked for a year as secretary and then for a year at a Montana Elk hunting outfitter. Then her dad called about buying Fletcher Lake Lodge.
Fletcher Lake Lodge is the longest continuous exhibitor in the Kansas City Boat and Sportshow. She says working the show is much about getting to see friends and customers. Almost all of the lodge guests rebook every year.
Watching folks stop at the Fletcher Lake Lodge booth in the sport show, it is obvious the customers are friends. While interviewing Jeanne for this article, comments from customers were, “Absolutely the best walleye fishing” and “Magical fishing” and “Great fishing with wonderful lodge people” and much more.
Jeanne says her favorite day at the lodge is when the float plane arrives with new guests. With a 90% plus rebook, the guests are all friends and each get a hug and give a hug when they get off the plane. Nice way to start a fishing trip vacation!
Fletcher Lake is the only lodge on the lake. There are no roads to it. A short, but extremely scenic, 30 minute float plane ride from Kenora, Ontario, brings you to the lodge.
The lodge offers American Plan which is the most popular. Breakfast and gourmet dinner is served in the lodge. Lunch can be in the lodge, sandwiches packed for the day or the traditional shore lunch (PS – don’t ever miss a traditional shore lunch!).
Fletcher Lake offers outstanding walleye, smallmouth and northern pike fishing. It is Conservation fishing. You may keep only two fish a day for a dinner or shore lunch. The lodge also has easy portages to a trophy lake and two musky lakes you can fish for the day. The musky is said to be a fish of 10,000 casts, but Jeanne says at their musky lakes, “You won’t catch a 54-incher, but you will catch more musky in a day than you will believe.” A rare and unique fishing experience only for guests of the lodge. Most of the fishing is self-guiding, but Jeanne says if a boat with two anglers is not catching 100 fish a day, you are doing something wrong. We send out a guide to show places and how to catch them.
In 2018, three lady anglers (guests) were struggling a little on finding fish. Jeanne sent them out with guides Shane and Kevin. At the end of that day, total number of fish caught by the three ladies was 362. Jeanne will not forget 362, as 362 was also Fuzz LePage’s Missouri Highway Patrol badge number. Now that’s pretty amazing.
Fletcher Lake Lodge has, along with other outfitters, teamed up with the Ontario Government to create a unique Trophy Waters program in the area.
Fletcher Lake Lodge is the only accommodation on Fletcher Lake and offers exceptional Canadian Fly-in fishing and hunting packages. The remote location is only accessible by traditional Canadian bush planes and ensures exceptional fishing and hunting experiences.
Jeanne and Fletcher Lake Lodge can be reached in two ways: email and telephone. Their email address is: email@example.com and their phone contact is: Winter, 218-386-1538; Summer, 807-224-3400.
By Forrest Fisher
The way of the future includes modern sportsmen on the move. As we travel from place to place to fish, hunt, shoot, hike or camp, it can pay dividends to hear fresh advice from the experience of seasoned outdoors folks through podcasts (that include re-playable radio shows). It’s one easy way to keep up, no matter where we are.
Outdoor Guys Radio is a weekly outdoor show, dedicated to hunting, fishing, shooting, and the great outdoors. Airing on ESPN 99.3 FM and 1510 AM in Kansas City since 2011, listeners can catch the show every Friday afternoon from 3-4:00 Central on ESPN Kansas City or on Saturday morning from 9-10:00 Central on Sports Byline USA.
Avid outdoorsman and outdoors writer, Ken Taylor, has been a host of Outdoor Guys Radio since the show began in 2011. Ken has been hunting and fishing since he was old enough to pick up a BB gun, and is passing that passion on to his two sons. Both boys love to hunt and shoot, and are also avid fisherman. Ken credits his dad with instilling in him a love for hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. Thanks mostly to his understanding wife, Ken spends over 90 days a year hunting and fishing. Ken enjoys hunting big game, upland birds and waterfowl in both Kansas and Missouri. The rest of his year is spent fishing on their home lake, shooting at Powder Creek Gun Club and training Ruby and Belle, the family’s Vizslas. Adds Ken, “Ruby and Belle are our most reliable hunting partners!”
The show features the best of regional and national experts, providing listeners with informative news, tips, destinations, and even a wild game recipe or two. In addition to the on-air shows, segments are also available through our podcast page and on iTunes. Each week, Outdoor Guys Radio hosts the best of local, regional and national experts in hunting, fishing, shooting and the Great Outdoors.
A few of “The Guys” who regularly contribute to the show include such national celebrities as Brandon Butler, Executive Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri: Brandon is an avid outdoorsman, prolific writer, and a great defender of the rights of sportsmen; Jared Wiklund, Public Relations Specialist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever: Jared provides listeners great insight into habitat and upland birds; Dr. Grant Woods, GrowingDeer.TV: Dr. Woods is a renowned biologist, game management expert, and the host of Growing Deer TV; Jim Zaleski, Outdoors Writer: “Jimmy Z” is an accomplished outdoors writer, fisherman, and radio host. He brings a wealth of fishing and hunting knowledge to the show. In addition, Zaleski is the Director of Tourism for Labette County, KS; and many other notable outdoor guys.
A warm welcome is something you feel if it is real. Nestled in the Missouri Ozark hills near Stockton Lake, everything about hospitality is real at Stone Creek Lodge. I know it’s real because it’s genuine.
My SUV swung quietly into the parking lot of the Stone Creek office as I noticed a guy wiping down his boat. About the same time, he waved the way you wave to a good friend, like a glad-to-see-you greeting. I thought he might have mistaken me for someone he knew, but I would soon find out the guy with the wave was Kris Nelson, who with his wife Amanda, own and operate Stone Creek Lodge.
Soon after that wave, I raised the bar of my surprise yet more. When you walk into Stone Creek Lodge you are a friend, not because you are a customer, but because the people who own and work there are just that way – genuine friendly folks that want to share the adventure of the outdoors with you.
Stone Creek Lodge has many ways to satisfy their friends, who originally came is as customers. A fine line to draw there.
Their fully stocked tackle store includes the effective lures, the right line, terminal hardware, floats and hooks, jigs of the right color and size, plastic tails and plastic worms too, and a great selection of live bait. The Lodging has rooms that any fisherman can call home.
The lodge office even has a snack bar with pizza. Famous pizza too. Mention pizza and most folks immediately brag on their favorite pizza establishment or brand. This pizza could win an award downtown, not to mention at any fishing lodge. The Stoner Creek pizza is great, best part, you can get your pizza with a conversation they call “fishing talk.” It doesn’t get any better than good advice with your pepperoni.
Nice to enjoy a fishing lodge that delivers so much before you even get on the water.
The fishing on Stockton Lake is nearly boundless, with over 25,000 acres to explore. This Missouri Corp of Engineers reservoir straddles Cedar, Dade and Polk counties in the southwest Missouri Ozarks. Close by are the friendly adventure supply towns of Stockton and Bolivar. Stockton is only 6 miles travel, but Bolivar, about 45 minutes away, is a larger city of 15,000 with a special charm where folks visit the Polk County Museum and Dunnegan Gallery of Art. Don’t miss the Town Square either!
While there are a number of excellent lakes in this part of Missouri, both large and small waterway, many offer good fishing for several species, Stockton Lake stands out with really great fishing. Anglers vie for multiple species including black bass, crappie, walleye and white bass, and you can catch all four species on the same day.
Stockton also delivers a special pleasure. Close your eyes and let your guide take you down the lake in any direction. Open your eyes and you might think your guide has whisked you away to a wilderness fly-in Canadian Lake. The Stockton shoreline is unspoiled with simple, natural beauty, as there are no lake homes on the water at Stockton. It’s great to feel like you are not fishing in someone’s back yard all the time.
Some people are born fisherman. Kris Nelson, the owner and head guide, is one of those. Very few guides are blessed with the fishing skills of Kris Nelson. He knows the lake, finds the fish, shares methods and expertise, teaches you how to catch them and after 10 minutes with him, you feel you have known him for years. Another new friend.
Last Friday, September 21, with late summer weather hanging on, we measured high water temps, the fishing should have been tough and slow. It was anything but slow, with Kris and JT teaching me how to catch them. First jigging for crappie, then chasing white bass – the action was fast and fun. Kris and JT both sharing and helping with knowledge learned thru many days on the water at Stockton. I realized quickly that the goal of a late September fish fry for friends on shore was not in doubt.
You will be welcome at Stone Creek Lodge.
You will enjoy the visit, the lodge, the fishing and the fun adventure that comes with laughter. Great medicine for a getaway that you and I need more often than not. Especially when it’s affordable.
My advice is to come and relax here when you can, go fishing with these fine folks and take some fillets home for later. It will help you remember the fun you enjoyed here, like it has for me. One thing for sure, you will always feel that warm welcome here.
To know more about Stone Creek Lodge, phone them at 417-276-1700, or go online and visit www.stonecreekmo.com.
“Where is the guide?” was my second question. My first question was, “Which boat is mine?”
The boat was one of many 27-foot long Sportcraft walleye charter boats neatly tied-up to the Border View Lodge docks on Lake of the Woods, Baudette, Minnesota.
This was my first experience going out on a walleye charter. I really was not excited, a walleye charter never did sound like my kind of fun fishing.
I was attending a conference at Lake of the Woods in Minnesota and fishing buddy, Dave Barus, a skilled Lake Erie angler, had arranged this Walleye Charter. Going out in a big boat on big water with six anglers and a guide did not appeal to me. By the end of the day, I found out it was not only productive, it was great fun! It was a very enjoyable way to spend a day on water…in the rain!
Tom at Border View Lodge answered my first question, “Your boat is the one in that slip.” “The one with the girl in it?” I asked. “Yes, that is your boat.”
The girl, Cassy, answered my other question. “Good morning, I am your guide. Get in and we’ll get going.” My first thought was this local trip has been engineered as a tourism publicity moment with a lady guide. Preconceived notions are not good things, but one crept into my brain that Cassy did not look like an experienced or hardened north woods woman. Of course, I really can’t describe what an experienced north woods woman should look like.
Cassy had a very serious look on her face as she readied six anglers and their gear, nosed the boat out into the river current and headed for the open water on Lake of the Woods. I would come to understand this serious look latter in the day, it was pure focus.
My thoughts turned back to Border View Lodge. Part of the charm of fishing in the North Country is visiting a new lodge. All have a charm of their own. Border View Lodge had a special charm that makes any angler feel at home the minute you walk in the door. Wood paneling, fish mounts on the wall, dining area overlooking the docks and river and friendly people saying welcome.
Border View Lodge is a family owned and run business. The original lodge was a commercial fish operation when burbot was harvested to make cod liver oil. Around 1962, Border View became a fishing lodge serving anglers. In 1981 the current family purchased the resort. Today, Mike and Lisa Kinsella run the resort, oversee nine guides and 10 launch boats. In the winter they have 60 Ice Houses on the lake. Border View is a full service resort for people that like to fish and the resort has amenities all anglers like. Mike has a variety of packages to fit the needs of any group. Call Mike at 1-800-ProFish, tell him what you want and he will take care of you.
Another glance at our guide, Cassy, and the same serious look was locked on her face as she stopped, put out the anchor and baited up six rods with a jig and minnow.
It wasn’t long before the first walleye hooked up. A nice walleye and as Cassy skillfully netted it I noticed the serious look was replaced by a huge smile. That was it, serious look when getting clients loaded and handling the boat, but all smiles when the bite starts. That is my kind of guide!
The rest of the day made me smile. I went from never wanting to do a walleye charter to, “Can’t wait to do this again.” We hooked more than 75 walleye and sauger, some to 28 inches long, and we put six fish apiece in the cooler. Cassy kept minnows on the jigs – baiting every one with her secret hook-up method, netted every single fish, and kept everyone fishing and in conversation. Quite a feat.
So much for pre-conceived ideas!
Cassy Geurkink is currently the only lady guide in the area, we found this out when we returned to shore, AND, she is considered one of the best guides on this part of the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Cassy grew up fishing and hunting with her dad Tom who is also a guide. Before becoming a guide, Cassy worked at a Chevy Dealer in the Minneapolis, St Paul area. Cassy eventually worked her way up to the Sales Manager position. She would visit Dad on the weekends and started not wanting to go home. Cassy left the car dealership and for a season worked in the lodge office. But, as she says, “I am an outdoor girl and wanted to be outdoors.” To be a guide on a waterway that borders another country, you have to have a Charter Captain’s license which involves study and a lengthy Coast Guard test. So I started studying and passed the tests.
Cassy now guides four to seven days a week. On days off, she takes her 7-year old son Finley out jig fishing. Cassy said the best part of guiding is meeting different people. She says, “Guiding teaches you even more about fishing.” She learned how to be patient and how to help people catch fish. When Cassy first started guiding, a lot of guys looked and said, “Oh boy a girl guide.” Now many of those have become regular repeat customers and ask for Cassy. I can understand why. Pure dedication, highly skilled, not afraid to try new things and focus with a smile.
Cassy puts you on the fish and makes a happy boat. If you can book her, say, “Oh Boy,” because you are going to have a great fishing day.
Catching fish with Cassy explaining the details, the options, the reasoning behind using chosen jig colors, that was pure fun. It was an education in fishing. We pay for the fishing, the fun and instruction is free. Can’t wait to do it again.
When a Fishing Rod Icon creates a Walleye Fishing Eyecon®
By David Gray
Part of the fun in the sport of fishing is the never-ending search for new equipment that works and fishes better. Last April, a friend introduced me to a new rod, the Eyecon ECS-70LF from St. Croix. The rod had such a “great feel,” I talked him into letting me borrow it for a couple of months so I could try it out.
The Eyecon ECS-70LF is one of the most impressive rods I have used in a long time. It says “Walleye Series” on the rod and it does a great job presenting finesse baits, but that is not all this rod does. The rod fishes well for walleye, crappie, bluegill, float fishing for smallmouth, and is great when spin fishing for trout. I used the 7-foot Eyecon with 3-pound line and 1/32 ounce jigs for trout and the rod was pure joy. Such are the numerous unadvertised advantages, since it can also handle medium-sized crankbaits with ease too.
How a fishing rod casts, or more precisely, how the rod transfers energy to cast a lure, is where most rods fall short. It is one performance task to bring a large bass or walleye to the boat, but a very different performance task to achieve casting distance and accuracy. The Eyecon excels in both performance tasks.
My first use of the Eyecon was an eye-opener. When I picked it up, it made me stop to do a double-take on the rod, then the line and the lure. There was a captivating synergy in just picking the rig up to hold. Simple moments that are remembered like that mean good things. My first cast with the Eyecon surprised me. It went 10 feet farther than I was aiming. My second, third and fourth cast did the same. Every cast was 10 to 15 feet further than my aim point. The Eyecon is so efficient at transferring energy, it was casting farther than most similar action 7-foot spinning rods.
My experience with fishing rods is that when they can cast light lures well, they usually do not have super-sensitivity, but the Eyecon surprised me there. It is a very sensitive rod and lives up to its finesse label.
Every once in a while, a new product raises the performance bar and the Eyecon does exactly that. Everything that you want a fishing rod to do well this rod does extremely well.
The Eyecon ECS-70 LF is as a great buy in a 7-foot spinning rod. It delivers a higher level of fishing performance, helps you fish better and makes you a better fisherman. You gotta love fishing tools that allow you to achieve all that. I have one of my own Eyecon’s now. They sell for $120-$130 and come with a 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.
If you need more info: http://stcroixrods.com/products/freshwater/eyecon/.