Mark Romanack

I find it interesting that the one piece of fishing equipment necessary to actually hook and successfully land a fish, is the last piece of gear most anglers worry about. In case you haven’t figured out what I’m referring to, the lowly fish hook seems to get no respect.

            It boggles the mind that an angler would willingly invest two or three hundred dollars into a super sensitive fishing rod, then go fishing with a hook that isn’t worth two cents.

            In case you haven’t thought about fish hooks much in recent years, a crash course will bring you back up to speed. Two things are important to think about in regards to fish hooks. Number one is choosing a hook design that functions well with whatever presentation you have in mind.

Because a lot of the presentations used to catch walleye require using light action rods and thin lines, hook sharpness is critically important to...

            Ever notice how a subtle, but enticing wiggle catches your eye? Fish notice that wiggle too, but the motivation is different. When we see an attractive wiggle, it causes us to think of sex. When a fish sees something wiggling, the thought process centers on food.

            Many predator fish use their sense of sight as their primary means of finding and catching prey. The unique eyes of the walleye put them in a class all by themselves. This popular species has evolved with oversized eyes that help them see and hunt more effectively in low light conditions.

High action crankbaits like this Mag Lip are often at their best when fished in contact with the bottom. Notice how the paint has been worn off the lip of this bait. Fishing these lures tight to bottom is a deadly way of triggering strikes from walleye and other bottom loving species.

            The walleye can see equally well in bright light con...

          Ready or not, the spring fishing season will soon be upon us. If you’re fishing boat isn’t water ready, now’s the time to spend a few minutes insuring that the fast approaching fishing season will run as smooth as a set of well lubricated wheel bearing.

A little boat maintenance in the off season will insure that come spring your boat is running at peak performance.

         Speaking of wheel bearings, this is the ideal place to start with essential spring boat preparation. Every year the bearings on your boat trailer should be examined, repacked with fresh grease and reassembled. Just giving the Bearing Buddy a couple squirts of grease isn’t going to displace water or grit that has undoubtedly found a way into the bearing housing.

         Remove the tire, pull off the grease cap, and remove the entire wheel housing. Pull out both the inner and outer set of bearings and make sure they are not pitted or worn. If repacked onc...

            We’re being invaded. Thankfully the culprits aren’t carrying guns or threatening our national security. The invasion is nonetheless serious, ongoing and at this point there is little we can do to prevent or eliminate future invasions. A surprising number of non-native species have been accidentally (or inadvertently) introduced into the Great Lakes. Most make the trip from a salt to fresh water environment inside the ballast water of commerce ships that travel from the Atlantic Ocean into the Great Lakes.

            While ocean going ships that travel the Great Lakes now treat their ballast waters, the damage has already been done. The journey from salt to fresh water for these invaders is apparently a painless experience. Some species do so well in the Great Lakes that they quickly grow in numbers large enough to compete with native species.

            This invasion is not exactly new or newsworthy....

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