Category Archives: Fishing

2nd Annual Fort Peck Fishing Trip

Last year we were invited by our friends, Kevin & Crystal, to go along with them to Fort Peck Lake here in Montana.  We all had such a great time, we decided to go for a 2nd Annual trip.  Fort Peck Lake is below Fort Peck dam and is 134 miles long at normal operating level, with 1,520 miles of shoreline.

We kept a journal this year and have lots of pictures to share.  If you get a chance to fish this lake, I would definitely recommend you do it.

*Note: Not all fish pictures are necessarily the exact fish that corresponds with the writing.  Once you take this many fish pictures, it’s hard to remember which was which.  But I did try to keep the actual type of fish accurate to the text.  Also, some days include a fish count.  And some days I forgot and there were too many fish and too many days for me to remember. Lots of fish, people, lots of fish…


Saturday Morning:

I’m opening up our posts about Fort Peck through the haze of having had a nap after being on a boat all morning. The naps are one of the big perks of these fishing camps… I fell asleep to the feel of rising up and down on the waves since my body seems to think I am still out on the water. It’s been a pretty good first day… We got an early start and made breakfast burritos with some pre-made eggs and sausage. We grabbed our mugs of tea or coffee and headed out.

We have come to Hell Creek both times as there is a nice campsite, launching area and we have gotten a pretty good feel for where we will have success fishing in some of the nearby coves.  The roads getting here are better than last year, but 30 miles of washboard gravel road tends to wreak a little havoc. As we clean layers of dust off gear or tighten bolts and screws, the phrase “welcome to Hell Creek” has been bantered between us all. As we were heading out on the water this morning we discussed which area we wanted to try and both Bob and Kevin were anxious to get back into the cove where they caught some really nice Small Mouth Bass last year. We motor our way back and see the familiar landmarks and settle in to troll our way up this finger of Fort Peck.


The first fish in the boat is a medium Bass from Bob. Three more follow, increasing in size, from both guys and ending in one smaller one from Bob. Amongst them, Kevin caught a Crappie that wasn’t a keeper. Kevin keeps saying he knows there’s a big Pike in there as he watches big blips come across the fish finder. And he proves himself right as his line starts zinging along, the tip of the rod curving down to the water. He’s super excited and we all jump into action, grabbing nets and moving other fishing poles. Kevin is reeling hard and this fish is just taking off with his line, while Crystal is trying to maneuver the boat to allow Kevin to get this guy on the boat. Kevin works the fish close to the surface and we catch sight of that big, angular Pike head and I can’t help but exclaim “He’s gorgeous!” which causes the fish to panic and dive down. Kevin gets him to the surface twice more before we get him in the net. Thankfully Mr. Pike had taken a roll or two and was wrapped securely in Kevin’s 8# line. Bob nets him up and Kevin goes into celebration mode. It’s a super decent fish. He weighs in at 11 lb 5 oz and is 38” long. There’s a lot of teasing about bigger fish that everyone else has caught. But really, it’s a nice catch.

As the bite dies down, we head into shore to replenish supplies and clean fish so we will be ready to head out for the evening.

Saturday Evening:

We head out for an evening of fishing as the sun beats down. I don’t know what the temperature is, but the forecast for this week is a high of 105° F and it’s HOT.  Last year we didn’t bring swimming clothes, but this year we are ready. After fishing for a short time and not seeing a lot of response from the fish, Kevin decides to change into his swim trunks. We all politely avert our eyes, but Kevin has a wardrobe malfunction and can’t get his balance, we all start laughing as we hear him struggle which causes him to crack up. A boat that had been further away is drawing closer and jokes about them being traumatized by his bare, white bum start flying around. Crystal is standing at the back of the boat watching to see if Kevin needs help and I glance up at her and realize that there’s a very clear, miniature view of the front of the boat in the reflection of her sunglasses. “I can’t look at you, or towards the front!” I say. By this time we are incapacitated with laughter and Kevin sounds like he is starting to panic. Crystal goes to the front and I guess they get Kevin sorted out because we hear a splash and he’s in the water. After he gets cooled off, we try a couple of other spots to fish and end up with just a small Bass that we don’t keep.


This little guy had big ideas…

Saturday Fish Count:

Bob: 2 Small Mouth Bass

Kevin: 2 Small Mouth Bass

1 Pike

1 Crappie

Crystal: 1 Small Mouth Bass

Katrina: 0

Sunday Morning:

On Sunday, I took a little writer’s retreat and relaxed at camp. Everyone else went out but only caught a few super small fish and didn’t keep any.

Sunday Evening:

Sunday night was gorgeous, we went out around 7pm and the water was cobalt blue with reflections of a lavender sunset to the west.


We pulled into a cove and saw fish jumping, which always seems like a good sign. The Red-winged blackbirds were calling to one another and huge dragonflies were hovering over the water. Kevin caught a barely keepable Walleye early on. We were trolling around and suddenly Crystal says “Is that a snake?!” We all rush to look and instead of a snake, see a monster of a Pike with another fish in it’s mouth, breaking the surface of the water as he attempted to get his meal down his gullet. We watched him as he made an appearance on both sides of the boat and saw one more flip of his long body further away and he was gone. We didn’t figure we would catch that guy, since he had just eaten, but we were now hoping for a big Pike in this cove. Crystal caught a little Perch and Kevin caught a dinky Walleye.

DSC_4768We were trolling around a flooded area and Bob had on an orange spinner as he casted in between snags. Suddenly he had a fish on and after working a few minutes got a nice Pike on the boat. It was a nice way to end a slower day.


Monday Morning:

Monday rolled around nice and hot again, with 99° F in the shade at 2pm. We got a later start and headed out at 7:30am. We had some nice cloud cover to start but it blew off pretty quick, although there was just enough of a breeze to keep from sweltering on the boat. Crystal brought along a floating tube and cooled off on that and we took a swimming break as well.


Crystal caught a Walleye on a Perch colored Colorado blade. Kevin caught a Walleye and a Perch that he threw back.

Bob caught a Pike that was about 5 lbs and 32” on a yellow and orange Colorado blade on a bottom bouncer with a worm.

It started to get hotter and the fishing died down so we headed in to take a break for mid-day.

Fish Count:

Bob: 1 Pike

Kevin: 1 Walleye, 1 Perch

Crystal: 1 Walleye

Katrina: 0
Monday Evening

This was the hottest day of the trip, at 102 ° F. So we took a break from fishing in the evening and did some housekeeping around the camp and some napping. This was a serious napping day, especially since we had splurged on a campsite with electricity the day before and we had a/c in the camper.

Tuesday Morning

4th of July – ‘Merica… Bob & Katrina’s Anniversary

We woke up extra early and got out on the lake at 6am in hopes of getting some time out fishing before it got too warm since it was so hot the day before. We pulled up to the first spot, hoping to land on the fish and get going. After a few minutes, Bob was able to pull up a small mouth bass. This fish was his first of the day and seemed like a good start. After a few minutes, there was not much biting and we moved to another spot. Kevin caught a perch that he threw back and then a fairly decent Crappie using a Gulp Alive minnow on a jigging head. Kevin was frustrated because he was getting bites but not getting anything hooked, so he decided to keep the Crappie. But shortly after he caught a real nice Walleye. I finally hooked into a little Bass that I threw back in the drink.


I probably would have caught more fish, but I got a little caught up in the relaxing part of fishing and didn’t spend quite as much time with my line in the water as I could have. Anyway, since I finally caught a fish, I decided I needed a break and sat down on the back edge of the boat to drink my tea. Bob was messing around with getting a lure from Kevin in the front and as he came back he dropped it and it clattered on the bottom of the boat. He asked if I could help him out and I turned around to see him kneeling down on one knee to get it. Right off, I knew he was up to something. He handed a big, shiny, lure up to me and I suspiciously took it. Looking at it more closely, I realized it had fancy engraving across the front of it. I looked at it more closely and read “Marry me, but this time in Ireland.”








And I figured that would be fine, so I said “Sure.” Actually I told him he was crazy and then I said sure. Which is a bit of a joke because I don’t do great with things that involve emotions and when he proposed 14 years ago I didn’t say “Yes!” and cry and get all scream-y like they do in the romantic movies. I said “Sure.” I always explain now that it’s really a good thing because it meant I was sure. So that was fun.



After awhile things calmed down and we went back to fishing and Kevin caught a Pike. We could see a lot of big Pike in the shallows, feeding on minnows and other fish. We continued fishing without catching anything worth mentioning and decided to head in until it cooled off a bit.


Tuesday Evening

We got back out on the water at a little after 5pm. It was a beautiful last evening of our trip. There was a cool breeze and some decent cloud cover which made for a pastel sunset. We had a Bald Eagle that was hanging out in the cove we were in and we got a chance to observe him which was pretty neat, especially as it was the 4th of July. He flew to a couple different vantage points, at one time giving some geese a heart attack. We also saw mule deer coming down to drink at the water’s edge. Kevin caught another Pike and two walleye and I caught my second fish of the trip, a Bass. Back at shore, Kevin showed us some good tips on how to cut up fish and we will get some video up soon (hopefully).


Wednesday Morning

Bob and Kevin went out for a short time while Crystal slept in (she’s 9 months pregnant so it was totally warranted). I got up at 5:30am and went looking for toads to draw in my Nature Journal. We had caught a few last year and I was hoping to find one this year too. I didn’t find one, so I had to settle with a cool feather and my new bluebird friend. Crystal woke up after awhile and we relaxed at camp and drank some coffee. The guys showed back up shortly with two walleye, a drum and a Bass from Kevin. Bob had caught a Bass and a Gold Eye that he threw back. Then we broke up camp and said good-bye to Fort Peck for another year.

Alright, thank you to those that made it all the way to the end of this mega-post.  For those of you still interested, I am going to add a few more random pictures and fill you in on some lure information.

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*some affiliate links included

Fishing Gear We Used:

Bottom Bouncing with Worm Harness: Kevin and Crystal had made up a bunch of the worm harnesses so I don’t have a link for you.   We are going to learn how to make them and do them as a handicraft (think life skills) in our homeschool, so I will get a tutorial up for you.DSC_4715

“The Ambassador” (Not the actual name, but a name it had previously earned for helping Kevin bridge the gap between this world and the underwater one) Kevin caught a little of everything with this guy.  It’s actually a Perch colored jointed shad from Rapala.

JDR Lures: We used a variety of these, some of our favorites were the Bleeding Eye Brown Trout, Danger Close casting spoon and the Perch casting spoon

Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows: These were pretty hot for us.  We used them on a jigging head and had pretty good success with these.  Maybe the most success out of everything we tried.  Bob has a little container of liquid that comes with some of them and it adds a scent to the bait, so maybe that helped too.



Wild Game, It’s What’s For Dinner…

Hey!  We are adding a new aspect to the blog.  Almost every week I will put together a post that includes recipes and links to meals we made during the week.  Most of them will be centered around fish and wild game that we have harvested and will for the most part be low-carb, paleo-ish friendly.  I think this will be really fun and I look forward to hearing what you all think.  I will be figuring out how to make these recipes printer friendly as well.

I don’t have a full week this time, as we ate at a friend’s house and went out to dinner, but here’s what I do have.

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans & Rice

*Unless you are lucky enough to have some smoked sausage made with game, this recipe does not include any wild game, but it’s tasty…

This is a recipe I found quite a few years ago. It’s pretty quick to put together because it uses smoked sausage and it’s nice and hearty.  This is the original recipe, but I have made a few adjustments.

1.I don’t like how mushy it was from being in the crock-pot, so I saute the veggies and then add all of the ingredients to a soup pot and let it simmer for 30 min.

2. I skip all of the spices in the recipe and just add 1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.

3. I add extra veggies and only put in two cans of beans to limit carbs.  You could also (a)leave out the rice, (b)use a rice that fits the way you eat better (we use brown rice) and (c) just take a small portion to limit carbs also.

4. I substitute whatever polish sausage we decide on while looking at the store.

This recipe makes a nice, large amount and is great for breakfast or lunch for a few days or you could freeze it for a quick meal later.

Elk Loin Steak with Veggies

Elk Loin Steak


This is such an easy and tasty meal to make.  Of course loin is a great cut, but we pretty much enjoy any cut of steak eaten this way, except for cubed steak which tends to be a bit tougher.



1-2 lb Elk Steak

Salt & Pepper (or your favorite seasoning)


Directions: Thaw steak and sprinkle with a generous amount of  salt, let the steak sit for up to an hour, 10 minutes works too.  I have used different spices and seasoning mixes, but I find that just a nicely salted steak, cooked well, is ideal.

Pre-heat a frying pan to med-high heat and lay those steaks on there.  Depending on thickness, cook for 2-3 minutes per side. If the steak sticks to the pan, wait.  It’s not ready yet. You want it to be seared and then it should release. Now flip! As this side cooks, all those yummy juices should come to the top.  You want the juices on top to still be a little red and the outsides to be seared.  A dry, overcooked steak=sadness.  If you aren’t certain if it’s cooked right, take one steak out of the pan and cut it in half.  It should be red, but the middle should not look raw.  Red=yes, Raw=no.

Once the steak is cooked to perfection, pull them all out of the pan.  Throw your steak on a plate, slice it up so it looks pretty and fill up the rest of your plate with veggies.  We normally do salad.  The night I made the steak in the picture, it was just the kids and I so we had raw carrots with ranch and potatoes. (ok!  It was tater tots, but sometimes you do what you have to do to survive…)



Perch Chowder

I don’t have a picture for this final recipe, the lighting was horrible and I was missing a couple ingredients.

So, I think this was a good recipe… But the problem with fish is that, no matter what you do to it, it still tastes like fish.  Now, I know fish is healthy and we have a lot of it, so I continue to eat it.  But I don’t care for it.  But Bob and our 4 yr old son, who both like fish, enjoyed this dish.  So I think it must be okay.

Here’s the link to the recipe: Perch Chowder


I hope you find these helpful!  See you next week with more!






Night Fishing

We had a lot of fun this summer on a night fishing trip.  Some of the guys we went with have done this for years.  This night was a special one though because we decided to get a good group of guys together, rent a large pontoon boat and spend a good couple of hours getting to know more about each other in relative darkness.

I was one of the last ones headed out as I was waiting for my father-in-law to arrive at my house so we could go out as a carpool.  A good portion of the guys had either taken down the camper and/or have headed out to go pick up the pontoon boat, which would fit all of us on it, plus our food and gear, for the evening.

We arrived at the lake about 6:45 pm, just as the other guys were getting the boat into the water.  After helping with the boat docking, we loaded all 8 of us and our gear for the evening and set off.

We were able to get to “our spot,” a specific spot on the lake that we have had success with in prior attempts. During the summer, the trout congregate at a certain part of the lake, especially at night, and the results are just so much fun! After anchoring the boat, we tied on glow hooks and weights to our lines, and then we got Josh set up.  He had just moved to Montana from California earlier that year and this was to be his first fishing trip and his first fish (if all was to go well).

We went through how to set up the reel and rod and how to tell how far down you were in the water.  I was hoping that this would work out for him, as this is what it is all about!  Spending and sharing the outdoors with everyone we can.

It was a bit a of a slow start as we were there before it started to get dark, which is what we found is needed to be able to get our spot.  We all decided on different depths to see where the fish were going to be at, which as it turned out, was a very good thing.

After a bit, Henry (my father-in-law) decided to fish the bottom which is quite a ways deeper from where we normally fish.  To our surprise he ended up hooking up with our first fish of the night!  A Ling or Burbot – if you never have seen these fish you need to check them out – very tasty although they don’t look like it.

We had a fish here and there for awhile especially at the front of the boat which had lights.  Then all of a sudden, the bite was on!  It was about 10 pm which, which  we have found is when they first start biting well.

We found the school and they were at 20-30 feet!  For the next two hours, it was a non-stop frenzy of baiting, dropping the line down, reeling and netting.  We found out on this night that the fish were attracted to the lights (old car lights in styrofoam hooked to a car battery) so we moved the lights from the front to the back of the boat and back up front every half hour or so.  We not only had trout during this trip, but a few walleye had graced us with their presence during this spell as well.

The good thing about the night fishing is that it tends to slow down about 11pm (to usually finish out your first day’s limit) and then pick up again at 1am.  One o’clock in the morning is the next day and another limit in store for us!

Just as we have done in the past, the fishing picked up again at 1am, and by 3am we had all pretty much limited out!  The fishing was great and we were able to share the blast that we know as night fishing with one of our friends.

We placed the large amount of fish in a cooler on ice, planning to clean them when we get home and went to bed.  Morning came early and we cooked breakfast for the group of guys (except for the eggs I forgot to bring), loaded up and headed back out on to the lake.

One of the guys, Jeremy cleaned up his catch at this point as he wasn’t able to go back out that morning.


In a prior fishing trip, we found that at another point on the lake there are perch to be caught so we decided to try there.  We had been there a couple of weeks before, but this time we were only able to find a few here in there.  This is when Henry said, ” Let’s try over there” and he pointed out over the water.

I relayed his suggestion “Hey guys, let’s move over there where Henry said to try.” and after a few minutes, we were anchored again, but this time over a very large school of perch and some walleye!  In about an hour, between all of us we had filled two five gallon buckets full of those dry tasty fish!

We decided that it was about time to head back, especially if we had to clean all of those fish.  We packed it up and in and returned home to Brad’s house to clean.

All in all we had caught and kept 120 perch, 10 walleye, and 63 trout.  Not a bad couple of days fishing!




Things done correctly:
1. We had experience in where to start fishing. Right spot at the right time
2.  We had the right equipment:  My set-up,  a medium rod with spinning real combo, glow hooks, lead weights (split shot) and night crawlers for the trout and a medium light rod and spinning combo with a jig head and night crawlers for the perch.

Things that we could of been better:
1.  We are working on a new set of lights that will give more light without the large battery needed.
2.  We need another set of lights so the whole boat can benefit from the lights.
3. I should have taken a bit more time before heading out to teach how everything worked for our new fishing partner!

Overall this was a great trip with good friends.  If you want to get to know someone, take them fishing overnight!!!  This is something that will most likely be an annual trip for us (if not a couple times a year trip).

Ocean Fishing in Oregon

During August of this year my family and I were visiting the great states of Oregon and Washington to visit my wife’s brother, Jonas and his wife Sarah and their family, who live in Battleground Washington, just north of Portland.  We enjoyed the chance to visit and explore the area.  We picked blueberries and caught them at the end of their growing season, but still picked a quick 60 lbs in two hours.  We visited the sights and the big Farmer’s market, but one of the things I was most excited about is the fishing!

I have never been out on the ocean to fish.  I have done a few tours and such on the ocean, but never had the means and time to be able to fish!

So Jonas and I went on two different fishing trips out near Astoria (Goonies never say die!”) .
Astoria Sign.jpg

Going After Bottom Fish

The first day we chartered a boat going out to fish Rock Bass and Ling Cod.  We started out early from the house, 3 am to be exact.  As we headed out and got gas, Jonas looked and we realized we were going to be really close to arriving at the docks at the last minute we had to check in.

We drove as fast as we legally could,  trying to get there in time.  Luckily for us, we didn’t have a lot of traffic and the construction that happened to be in our way didn’t slow us down.  We arrived just as we needed to be there and were able to get on the boat.

Early Morning Dock.jpg

The boat was a rather large one, and we were going to be passing through the most dangerous waters in America.  The crazy part of this trip was the travel to the spot we were going to be fishing.


The travel in the boat took about an hour to get in to the spot where the rock bass were staying.  We arrived and the captain and deckhand were setting up the rods.  The fishing rods were about 8 feet long and were very, very stout.  They had a counter on them so that you knew how far out you were.  The setup consisted of a large lead weight with a couple of rigged hooks with plastic tails.  They are tipped with a small fish and sent down to the bottom.

You then drop the lines when the captain says and then go to the bottom and bounce the rod up and down until they hit the line, then you bring them back up.  Then after you float out of position, you reel up, the captain moves you, and then you fish again.

The group as a whole has a limit of 7 fish per person.

After a couple of minutes I found that I was starting to get the idea of how to fish.  I was catching a fish here and there, when all of the sudden, the line went really heavy.  I started reeling the line up and to my surprise, I had doubled up with two really nice rock bass!


The rest of the trip was fast and furious as I landed 10 fish total, with two being fish that we had to throw back as they were not legal to keep.

The biggest struggle I had was keeping my footing, but I was fishing well and had caught quite a few.

As fast as the fishing had started, we were told to reel up as the limit had been caught.  There was one person who had caught a ling cod, but we had caught quite a few fish in only about 45 minutes.

The ride back was rough and showed me why it is a dangerous port way.

Salmon Fishing

The next day of fishing was much easier, as far as the trip out went.  But, buoy 10 had just opened the day before and there was only one boat that had caught fish so far.  Which was news that we didn’t want to hear.  However, we decided it would still be fun to go out as I hadn’t experienced that before.


We arrived after grabbing some lunch to take on the boat and got ready to go.  We loaded up on to the boat and took our seats.  We were being guided by Forest Shields and his deckhand Scott Shields from Gone Catchin’ Guide Service. We had only four people on the boat for this trip, which I was really excited about as we would have more fun with less people on the boat.

We set out to the area where the fish had been caught the prior day.  The crazy thing is that phones work so that the guides can talk to each other to figure out where the fish are.  We had fished for awhile when one of the lines started jerking.

One of the other client’s rod had a salmon on the line.  It was reeled in and was a fish that could be kept so it went in to the bag.  We stayed in the area for awhile, but no other fish were caught.

We decided to move to the other side of the bay with the tide moving a different direction.  We set down the lines, which had different weights to get the lines down to the bottom and not tangle.  The heavier weights were in the front, whereas the lighter weights were in the back allowing them to fall behind the boat.

So after a pass we moved back up to the top of the bay when all of the sudden, Scott called out, “Montana, fish on!”

I ran to the back of the boat and grabbed the rod, all the while everyone else was reeling up.  I felt the fish pull on the other end and I started into my routine, letting the fish run when it pulled and then pumping and reeling when he was stopped and moving towards me.

This was the fight I had for a good 15 minutes, him pulling and seeming to win for awhile, then me getting him close to the boat.  Finally after what seemed like a long time, we were rewarded with the sight of the fish.  A great Chinook Salmon!  Forest moved expertly in place and had me pull one last time to get him into the net!  I had accomplished my goal.  The biggest fish of my life.  We estimated him at about 20 pounds and after he was into the net and brought in, we determined he was legal and kept him.

Scott handed him to me and we took this picture, a great trophy!  The fish was then put into the cooler bag ready for the rest of the day.


We then proceeded to the top of the bay again, when another fish jumped on my line.  Jonas took the turn at the rod and line.  After a few minutes, another great fish was in the boat!

The crazy part of the day was by this point, we were basically the only boat on the bay that was catching fish!  So with that, boats all over were coming in close to see what we were using and what we were doing, which was nothing different aside from the guides helping us out.

We kept fishing for awhile longer and another client ended up hooking into another fish which was legal and pulled into the cooler bag.  We had all caught a fish.

The rest of the day was slow with no more fish to be had and so we moved back to the dock where Forest cleaned the fish and got them into a bag for us to take home and get in the freezer.


This was another great day and time fishing and a new experience that I would really like to share with my father in law Henry and my dad and Jonas again at some point in the future!

A special thanks to Jonas for taking me on this fantastic adventure.

Thank you also to Gone Catchin’ Guiding Service.  If you are going to be in the area, you can check them out at the website below.

Things done right:
Finding great guides (Jonas did some great prep work.)
Going fishing during the week keeps out the weekend locals for the most part
Spending time doing new things.

Things could have done better:
Could have stood in a different place on the first boat so that I wouldn’t have slipped all over the place.



Interview with Jaeger Rusher of JDR Specialty Tackle & Giveaway

Hey guys!  I am excited to share with you an interview we did with Jaeger Rusher from JDR Specialty Tackle.  We had a lot of success using his lures this year, especially on our Fort Peck trips.

We first heard about these lures because Bob and Jaeger are cousins.  And maybe initially we used the lures because we wanted to support family, but once we used them, we were super impressed and have continued to use them because of them being a superior product.  And, in case you want to try them out, Jaeger has arranged a giveaway for us!  Read through to the end to find out how to enter.

Here’s the interview:

MToutdoorsman: Can you tell us a little about your history with fishing?  Did you start as a kid?  What kindled your passion for fishing?
Jaeger: My history with fishing started out when I was little, around 5 years old, and my father took my brother and I fishing at the causeway [Helena, MT] as well as traveling up into York and fishing Beaver Creek and catching Rainbow Trout with my Nana June. I have been fishing as long as I remember.  I do know that through my high school and early college years I took a break from fishing and maybe only fished up to 10 times a year.
My passion for fishing is not just for catching trophy fish, but catching more fish every time I am out. Again this is “fishing” not “catching” so some days no matter how great of a fisherman you are, the fish just don’t bite!
I prefer fishing over hunting because you cannot see the fish below the surface so it’s always a surprise to see what you reel in. Where as hunting,  you see what’s on the other end of your barrel and scope.
MToutdoorsman: Do you have a favorite fish to catch?  What would be your lure of choice for this fish?
Jaeger: My favorite fish to catch is the Northern Pike, as I love catching these toothy Rob Northernpredators that have the most unique colors and texture for fish. The way a northern pike hits is a true feeling of fight, and when they run and make you play them out, it is always an excitement.
My lure of choice for catching Northern Pike would be using our Spoons, as they have been tested on numerous bodies of water throughout multiple countries and have a proven track record to withstand the 400 plus teeth a pike wants to use on the lure.
MToutdoorsman: What made you want to create a better lure and how did you come up with the idea to coat the lures in the Iron Hide Finish?
Jaeger:The whole iron hide finish and creating a better lure came to me when I pulled over to go fish Lake Helena one late evening and see what I could pull up using a cheap spIMG_20160704_201615oon I bought on closeout at a local sporting goods store. I noticed that, not even 6 casts in, the sticker was already flaking off.  I was a little upset for a $4.00 product. I caught some walleye that night, however, within two hours the spoon was all the way down to its bare metal.
I came up with the idea for the coating and Iron Hide finish through years of studying automotive paint and painting metals and guns.
I really believe in giving people the best product and I myself am never satisfied with a job I have done unless it’s my absolute best. I wanted to create a finish that can withstand the teeth of musky and pike and withstand the rocky shore lines and bottom depths of the lakes and rivers where all other products chip away after just a couple uses.
MToutdoorsman: It seems like most of the people who are part of JDR Specialty Tackle are friends and family, is that the case and can you tell us more about that?
Jaeger: Most people who are part of JDR Specialty Tackle are friends and family. The reason for this is that I wanted to build a family business because I wanted to be able to give back to my family as they always helped me along the way. Our friends really helped out during our initial launch with Cabela’s as we had super late nights, working, packaging and doing seminars.  Without my family and friends I would not be who I am today. They all have been a huge part of my life and are always there willing to help out any way possible.

MToutdoorsman: What has been your favorite part of starting the JDR Specialty Tackle business?  What was your biggest struggle?

Trout on LureJaeger:My favorite part of starting JDR Specialty Tackle was creating or inventing a product that has never been created before. My main goal was to create a product that can help more people catch more fish. To also have the Made in Montana stamp of seal was also part of being my favorite!

The biggest struggle was not even making sure we could keep up with the monster orders, but rather, helping people make a transition from their favorite stick or jerk bait, and trying our spoons and other products.  People assume you don’t catch walleye and trout on spoons, but instead will only catch Northern Pike. That’s why we keep challenging sportsmen to give our products a try.


MToutdoorsman:What do you do when you aren’t fishing?

Jaeger: If I am not fishing, I am thinking about fishing! I really go full force with the innovating and creating of new products, which is truly my passion. So when not on the water I am designing new patterns or working on our clothing line piece by piece.

MToutdoorsman:Finally, what’s your top fishing trip?

Jaeger: My favorite  fishing trip is Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan Canada. This is a must add to anyone for their bucket list, and if a person could only fish one lake in their life, this would be the lake to do this at. The fishery up there is phenomenal and the respect they have to preserve their trophy fishery is unlike no other.


 Photo Credits: Jaeger Rusher

MToutdoorsman: Where can people find JDR Specialty Tackle Products?

Check out the sale going on at JDR Specialty Tackle or you can CLICK HERE to see if there is an authorized dealer near you!

Well, we just want to thank Jaeger from JDR Specialty Tackle for visiting with us  and agreeing to do this giveaway!  You can enter to win a JDR Specialty Tackle cap and Jaeger will throw in some spoons to get you started! Enter using the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

The Giveaway!

The Giveaway has ended! The winner was Carrie E. Thank you to all who entered.
a Rafflecopter giveaway








Summer Fishing Series: Part 1- Fort Peck

We had some great experiences this summer and some of our favorites were the fishing trips.  Good food, good friends, lots of fishing and relaxing.  Rather idyllic actually…

We intended to post updates after each of these trips, but Summer got away from us.  So now you can check them out in this four-part series:  Ft Peck Trip 1(you are here); Ft. Peck Trip 2; Night Fishing/Perch Fishing, and Salmon fishing off the Oregon Coast.

Here’s Bob to fill us in on some of the highlights of the first Fort Peck Trip.

Part 1: Fort Peck, Montana in June

During the first part of June, my father (Nick), his friend (Cheri), and I made a trip to the biggest lake in Montana.  We were planning on spending five days on the water learning and catching fish in one of the best fisheries Montana has to offer.


Dad and Cheri met me at my house so I could  follow the truck/camper and boat combination.  After staying the night at a place about half way to the lake, we arrived about mid day to find our camping spot.  We spent the rest of the day setting up camp and getting my truck hooked up to the Lund boat my dad had purchased the year before.

That evening at dinner we were surprised to learn we did have data for our phones so we would be able to look at the fishing report.  After learning they were catching the fish in about 5-15 feet of water with green bottom bouncers, we thought we were set.

Day 1:

We were up early and got out onto the lake.  With Fort Peck having more shoreline than the entire West Coast, we really had a lot of options on where to start.  We decided to go across the lake to a spot around some islands.

After about 25 minutes of motoring across the lake and we were finally fishing.  I set up my bottom bouncing rig and got started.  About 20 minutes later after finding the fish, I finally got my first hit.  Although it wasn’t a good fish, it was a walleye and it was the first one on Peck!

About an hour later I was able to hook into another walleye, and then was followed by another.  That first day was kind of slow.

Bob Walleye


Day 2:JDR Lures

We decided that we would go further down the east arm and see what we could find.  After riding a bit further in the boat, we set up the bottom bouncing rig and then had another couple of walleye.

Not really getting into the walleye we were hoping for, I decided to test out the spoons I had purchased from JDR Specialty Tackle.  I was quickly rewarded with my first Pike and  Bass! These were caught by tossing them towards shore and then a slow retrieve back to the boat.  A couple of pike that day were also caught by trolling the spoons behind the boat while using the bottom bouncers.

We weren’t having the walleye we were looking for so we decided to move down the other side of the East arm.  I decided I was going to change it up though.  I had been using night crawlers on my bottom bouncer rig up to that point, but decided to try out minnows.  I put one on.  After about an hour of trolling the line went taut!  I ended up catching my biggest walleye to date!  It was about 5 lbs and ended up being the fish of the day.

Bob with Big Walleye

Day 3: Another spot

Since the previous day landed some great fish on that side of the lake, we decided to go down the east arm again.  After fishing for awhile we finally landed on the large amount of Walleye that Ft. Peck is known for. We were using a green bottom bouncer and we hit them hard.

We caught quite a few little walleye and some great eaters.  After awhile the fishing for the walleye went dead.  We decided that it was time to try some of the bays for the pike that might be lurking around.

Moving closer to the very north part of the lake, we were once again using the spoons I had purchased the prior week.  They didn’t disappoint.  We caught a few more pike and this wrapped up day 3.

Bob with Pike

Day 4: The game is on.

Knowing where we left the walleye the day before, we moved out to the same spot.  They were there again, and after about 6 hours of great fishing, we decided it was time to try the pike again.

This time the pike were unbelievable!  Cheri ended up catching a 9 lb pike and another 5 lb pike.  My Dad caught a good sized one that he ended up letting go since we had two good pike in the boat.

Bob & Cheri with Pike

Day 5: last half day

We needed to leave at about 1 to be able to get home, so we decided we would try for the pike one last time.  We went out to where we had caught those pike the day before but nothing was happening.  I finally dug it out, the box of lures my Dad had taken to Canada some 30 years prior.

I used one of the big poppers that moved quite a bit of water.  It was so crazy that I didn’t think it would work.  My Dad took a video of it because it was so loud.  I have attached a link to that video here.

Just after the video ended, a big pike hit the lure!  I was able to get him just about to the boat and he then made a second run and when he did this he was able to spit the hook. We were so bummed as this was the only fish we had hooked that morning.

I switched lures again and we made a round by the same spot.  This time no dice, but I did happen to see quite a few bass underneath the boat.

I told my Dad to pull one of the minnows out and put in on a light action rod with just a hook and a small split shot.  Within five minutes he had a great bass!  Both Cheri and I made the switch to the same set-up (not wanting to end up skunked) and a couple of minutes later Cheri had her bass.  Finally, I ended up with the same result.

It was quite fun as with those light action rods, the bass were able to make quite a few runs before they were brought up to the boat.

All in all this was a great trip with great memories!  We were able to discover and learn about this fishery and know what to do the next time we return.

Nick & Bob with Pike



Learn to Hunt Series: Intro

Hey everyone! It’s Katrina here. I wanted to tell you a little bit about a blog series I am going to start.  It’s going to be all about my journey as I learn more about how to hunt and fish and how to increase my fitness level to increase my capabilities in the field.  I grew up in a family where my dad and brother went hunting and fishing but I did more observing than actually experiencing these things for myself. I did a couple of easy deer hunts, shot a lot of gophers and really loved rifle club, but I want to find out what it means to gain the skills necessary to go on some serious hunts and take care of myself when we go fishing.

I hope you will follow along. I will be sharing great resources, tips and fun stories!  It doesn’t matter if you are a guy, a gal, a newbie or experienced outdoorsman, I think you will be able to get a lot out of this.

Here’s a list of articles you can look forward to:

Learn to Hunt Series: Resources

Learning From the Best: An Interview with my Dad

Archery Class

I Run Now Because…(I Don’t Want to Get Left in the Dust During Hunting Season)

I’m a Wimp and I Think It’s Gross to Put Worms on a Hook

Learning How to Process Game

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