Fishing with Johnnie Candle, Extreme-Sensitivity Fishing Rods Catch Fish in La Crosse, Wisconsin

  • Fishing rod guides that don’t break
  • Hi-modulus sensitivity rod blanks from Scheel’s allowed for detecting the lightest of strikes
  • “Smart Boat” technics from Humminbird for total position control to target hotspots 

By Forrest Fisher

Walleye fishing legend, Johnnie Candle, suggested that we look at mid-river shoals on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin, and search the area with his new Humminbird sonar. We utilized the map to find such locations and he’s a walleye guy at heart, so we set up our rods accordingly.

In his Lund 21-foot, 10-inch fishing boat with a 350Hp Mercury Verado main-kicker, we arrived at our fishing destination in a few minutes. The ride was smooth as silk.

The Humminbird Helix 12 sonar (https://humminbird.johnsonoutdoors.com/fish-finders/helix/helix-12-chirp-mega-si-gps-g3n) showed “hooks” indicating lots of fish all around the edges of this 21-27 foot soft-bottom/gravel shoal area.

The Humminbird Helix allows the angler to mark the fish, then hit return to go back over the fish with the electric MinnKota motor.

Using a very sensitive Scheel’s “One Limited” medium-action fishing rod, the 6-foot,9-inch version, rigged with a Scheel’s 2500 series reel and 10-pound test Ultra -8 Fireline, we tied on vertical vibrating baits (Sonar, ¼ oz), Strike King Swim Tail Shiner jigs (1/4 oz) and Berkley power minnows(1/16 oz jig head/2-inch tail) to catch five species of fish in the next two hours of peaceful fishing fun (https://www.scheels.com/p/scheels-outfitters-one-limited-edition-spinning-rod/3340-ONEB.html). True relaxing fun.

Lots of Young-of-the-Year saugers that will eat a 4-inch Strike King jig show the fishing future looks bright here in La Crosse.

We released them all, including sauger, crappie, yellow perch, sheepshead, and largemouth bass. La Crosse, what a great place to fish! Mid-day, bright sun, clear sky, catching fish because we could find them with the right sonar and could sense their light bites with the right rod and line.

Yet, just a very short time ago, we had no clue what to fish for and where to go. We launched at the Black River Beach boat launch (https://www.explorelacrosse.com/), there was a $5 launch fee for non-residents. Look for the semi-hidden boat launch envelope station and be sure to use it, to avoid a $20 parking ticket. Don’t ask how I know.

Using the right gear makes for fun fishing in Wisconsin…and everywhere else.

For more about La Crosse, Wisconsin, visit https://www.explorelacrosse.com/.