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Featured Articles

Read great tips, tricks, and fun news from Jeff and his sponsors.

"35 and Rain" - April 3rd 2019

After the Grand Traverse Bay ice fishing trip and working the Ultimate Sport show with Humminbird/Minn Kota, I was pretty much all in on open water fishing.

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REEL N' SMOKE

That’s what Reel ’n Smoke is about getting out there and finding your own passion. Whether it’s casting a line, stalking prey or just hanging out, it’s an individuality that lives in all of us.

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FISHSENS

FishSens Magazine is a web publication covering fish science, conservation and sport. FishSens Magazine aims to keep professional anglers and fishery researchers up to date on developments in their industries.

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ABOUT Jeff

INFO

Age: 31
Job: Fisheries Biologist
Hometown: Norton Shores MI
Family: Amanda, Mabel and Hutch (yellow lab)

PERSONAL

Biggest tournament fish: 6.69
Largemouth or Smallmouth: Largemouth
Favorite Lake: Portage Chain
Duck blind or Treestand: duck blind

ANGLING

Favorite Bait: Nemesis Bullet Craw
Favorite Techniques: Flipping grass, sight fishing
Fishing Strength: decision making
Other: Salmon, Trout, Walleyes, Whitefish, Bluegills, Perch

PERSONAL

Sunrises or Sunsets: Sunrises
Food: harvested, cleaned, and cooked myself
Music: Hard Rock

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Trouts and Pouts

I've been waiting since 2015 for another crack at ice fishing Grand Traverse Bay. There's no telling when it will freeze again so we put some plans together and headed north for Trouts and Pouts weekend 2019!

The pouts is short for eelpout which is another name for a burbot (not a dogfish). We were going to primarily target lakers and burbot but wouldn't turn down whitefish or cisco if we stumbled upon them. Burbot are most active in the evening/night so we would be targeting them at those times and trout during the day. We were staying on Old Mission Peninsula (thanks Brent, Melissa, and Brad) and were planning on fishing East Bay.

 

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The Curse is Broken

Finally! It seems every time I've been crushing the perch and my dad comes out, we end up struggling. Sure we've always ended up with a good pile, but we always end up working hard and it never lives up to my hype. I had high hopes this year was going to be different and since we were going to an area of the lake I hadn't fished this year we didn't know what to expect.

It was also going to be the first trip of the year on quads and we had just been dumped on with some major snow storms. Travel on the way out was absolutely terrible, the drifts were tall and we were getting stuck. There were some pretty powerful slush pockets out there too. After a much longer commute out there than expected we finally got started. I popped a hole right on the waypoint and they were there. My dad went to work right there and I started cutting a bunch of ice in the area hoping to find the mega school. That is a constant struggle for me with ice fishing, I am always in search of the mega school. I have no problem leaving a perfectly good school of fish to find an even better one. Luckily most of the time it works out pretty well.

 

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