Kyle Sorensen with OB Outdoors talks about the benefits of using the I-Pilot feature on your minnkota trolling motor specifically for trolling! Don’t miss out on the LIVE CATCH during the interview!
SPY Cameo Sunglasses Review
As hunters, fishermen and outdoor lovers, we all need good glasses to protect us from the sun. We spend a lot of time covering the best of the best for men, but we thought it was time to show you what to buy the ladies so that they’ll tag along with you on your future fishing trips (if you want). The SPY Cameo sunglasses are some of the best out there for women.
SPY Cameo Sunglasses
SPY makes some of the greatest angling and outdoor optics available so it’s no surprise that they make stylish and practical glasses for women as well. The SPY Cameo sunglasses fit tight and feature the Happy lens and are available with polarized lenses as well. They allow anyone to get a good look at the water and hit their spots when casting a fly at a finicky trout.
SPY sunglasses review
The Cameo won’t only turn heads with the fish you’re landing, but it’ll also turn heads on the street. These shades are made for “trail to tavern” so you can wear them anywhere. They come in an assortment of frame and lens colors and offer a sleek, versatile look.
SPY Cameo Review
The lenses are SPY’s patented Happy Lens, which help foster and uplift in mood and energy. They boost optical clarity and have SPY’s Trident polarization. As always, the frames are durable and built to withstand all the elements without looking clunky or beat up.
SPY Ejack Hunt Sunglasses
Eric Jackson is a star on the mountain and a force to be reckoned with on the water, so it’s no surprise that SPY Optics would make his own signature sunglasses for the best of everything outdoors. As a pro snowboarder, Eric relies on SPY’s goggles every day and when he’s not on the mountain, he’s on the water fishing where he needs his SPY Hunt Sunglasses.
The most versatile frames that SPY has to offer come with the Hunt glasses. The new Ejack Hunt sunglasses are the only SPY sunglasses to have Happy Lens Technology in the new Trident polarized Rose base lens with the awesome Green/Gold Spectra mirror coating. What that means is that you can look great while fishing all day and your eyes are not going to give you any trouble.
Any serious angler knows that you need the best in polarization for fly fishing and Eric Jackson is no exception. The lenses in the SPY Ejack Hunt sunglasses enhance clarity, definition and color during mid day fishing or early mornings.
SPY’s Hunt sunglasses feature a frame that is comfortable and stylish. The molded grips are not glued so you don’t have to worry about anything falling apart. They fit perfect to your head and won’t fall off with a quick movement and they are very lightweight. On top of that, you can bend them, sit on them and they offer pin hinges that add durability in case you shove them in a tight space.
Having a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses is the most important piece of equipment for a serious angler. SPY’s Ejack Hunt model gives you everything you need to stay on the water longer and see the fish you’re hitting with that dry fly from further upstream.
Bay of Green Bay Walleye
By: Jeff Boutin
Opening day of fishing season is upon us. Even though summer does not officially start until June 21st, I have always considered the first Saturday in May the start of my summer season. I, as well as anglers from all over the state, will head out to their favorite lakes and rivers in pursuit of the most sought after fish in the Midwest…walleye! My favorite place just so happens to be, the Bay of Green Bay.
The Bay can be a very intimidating body of water. When you head out to any one of the boat launches located around the lower portion of the Bay, the parking lot will be full of boat trailers but all you will see is miles and miles of open water and only a few boats in sight. Even though the surface looks the same as far as the eye can see, it’s what’s lurking below it that all of us are after.
Most anglers who come up to the Bay struggle with where to fish and which presentations to use. Either they setup near the boat launch, or they head out in the direction other boats are heading also looking for a group of boats. When they find them, they throw a few lures in the water and start trolling. Well that’s a good start, but most people spend countless hours on the water only to go home disappointed. We’ve all been there.
Here are a few tips and tools that will make you a more successful angler. First and foremost, you will need a good GPS locator. I prefer the Humminbird Helix series locators. They are high definition and very easy to use for the average angler. For those of you that are more experienced, the upgraded units are equipped with Side and Down Imaging. The next thing you will need is a map chip for your GPS. The Lake Master chip is made for your Humminbird unit and can highlight different depths of water making it easier to see the areas you may want to fish. This is going to show you where the structures are, eliminating the areas without structure and water that is deeper than 20 ft. That just eliminated 90% of the water! I recommend a set of trolling rods with line counter reels, spooled with 10 lb. to 12 lb. monofilament line. I suggest a quality set of planer boards. I use Churches Tackle TX-22 boards simply because they are of high quality, they cut through the water nicely, and when you stop, they won’t fall over and tangle up your lines. The last piece of equipment is a Minn Kota trolling motor. Most fishing boats sold today come with one mounted to the bow. They work so well, it’s almost standard to have a Minn Kota on your bow. When the Minn Kota trolling motor is equipped with I-Pilot, you will be able to fish and let the I-Pilot steer your boat for you. Just set a course, set the speed, and fish, it’s that easy.
Now for the fun part; catching the fish. We’ve reviewed the Lake Master maps so now we can focus on the areas we want to fish. In May, the walleye tend to feed on the rocky reefs and the areas with shallow weeds. The baits of choice in these areas are the Flickershad. Start out with the basics; purple, chartreuse, maybe a gray or white. Since it is early and the bait fish are small, use number 5’s and 7’s. It is a good idea to get the trolling app. This will assist you in determining at which depth the bait will run. The App will tell you how much line to let out in order to get your bait to a certain depth. For example, a number 7 Flickershad with 30’ feet of line let out will dive down 6 feet. With 40 feet of line, the Flickershad will dive down 8 feet. Speed will not affect the depth at which the lure will dive. You will attach the Churches Tackle planer board after you let out your set distance of line. The next part is speed. Since the waters are cold in May, you are not going to want to troll too fast. Keep your speed between 1.3 and 1.7 mph changing it often until you find a speed the fish prefer.
When setting your lines, start out with several colors and set them at various depths. Be careful not to set your baits too low in the water column. Walleye feed up and you do not want to put your bait underneath them. As you work your way over and through different reefs and humps and that first board goes back, make sure you keep track of the depth the bait was running. In addition, note your speed and hit a waypoint. This will be your first waypoint of many. Troll another 5-10 minutes and if you have not gotten another bite either turn around, if it is not windy, or pick up and go back to make another pass. The biggest mistake I see anglers make is when they catch a fish they just keep on going and do not return to that spot. This is your chance to make your first adjustment. Set a few more baits at or near that depth and make that pass right over the same spot. If you catch more fish, repeat the process and make another adjustments to your presentation, color. If the fish bit on the same color, add a few more of that color. Continue to refine your presentation until either you can’t keep your lines in the water, or they quit biting. If they quit biting, move on until you find the next bite. Sometimes you will have to go back to different depths and colors until you get something to work.
Another place you can find these fish is shallow. Yes, I did say shallow, 2 to 3 feet shallow. On bright days, in the mid to late mornings, the sun is warming up the shallows. Walleye will head into these waters even if the water is crystal clear, it’s warmer, and it only needs to be 4 to 5 degrees warmer. This is when your planer board comes in handy. I’ll run my closest planer board 100 to 150 feet from the boat. These fish will spook easy, so being stealthy is critical. Using the Minn Kota is really important. In this case, you are only going to put 6 to 8 feet of line out behind your planer board. These areas are generally sandy and you want the front lip of the bait to either tick or slightly dig right into the sand. This will help entice a strike. These fish are not the same fish as the ones you were finding on the reefs. These are generally the larger females coming into the shallows to feed. It is very important to keep your distance, if these fish even see a shadow from your boat, they will be gone!
Another bait I like to use is the Team-Outdoors inline blade attractor. They come in 10 different colors and 4 different sizes. These are attached to your line about 12 inches above the crankbait. These will attach to your line without tying a knot or cutting your line. Crankbaits rattle, and wiggle, but they don’t always have flash. The attractor blades are either a #3 Colorado or a #3 willow blade. This adds additional flash and vibration to your crankbaits without affecting the depth or action of the bait. If I pass over fish and they are hesitant to bite, I usually add these to a few of my lines. If the waters are a little murky, again this is a great way to add flash to your presentation.
Time spent on the water is always special, so enjoy it, have fun, and most importantly, be safe.
I’ll see you on the water,
Captain Jeff Boutin
Raising dogs…slowing down speeds things up
By: Jeremy Moore
As a professional dog trainer, I’ve been able to work with various breeds of a large number of dogs over the years, ranging from 7 week-old puppies to dogs as old as 10 years or more. I strongly believe that one of the only ways to get better at anything, whether you’re talking dog training specifically or life in general, is to put in the work. And more times than not, the whole “work” part is where things start to get hard! Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to put that work in when it comes to the dogs. And, consequently, I know I have gotten a lot better as the years passed. As I have personally improved, the dogs have mirrored that improvement as well. Today, I can say with strong confidence that when I have a chance to work with a puppy or dog, I will be a positive influence on them and my hope is they are better off because of it as well.
But what about the people when it comes to training? I think that one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to training, or as I prefer to say, “raising” dogs or pups, is the importance of what the trainer brings to the equation. One of the most desirable traits all dogs possess is that they want to please and are naturally looking for a strong leader. That is simply how they are wired. On the opposite hand, one trait that they also have because of this wiring is if they don’t find a leader they will become the leader.
The great majority of training topics and articles I have written over the years and have read for that matter, have revolved around dogs in the field and how we prepare them for “the hunt”. It’s the hunt that is the most fun to talk about. It’s the hunt that is the most exciting. And why not? I mean, the hunt is what so many of us have as the end goal right? The hunt is the fun part, and in all reality the hunt is what comes the easiest for most dogs. Hunting has been bred into them for centuries and is relatively natural. As their handler, our job is to simply bring it out. It’s the other stuff, beyond or before the hunt, that most struggle with and typically that is the reason things fall short.
Although the majority of what I have read and written about has focused on the hunt, what’s interesting to me is that the great majority of questions I receive by phone call, text, posts or direct message on the various social platforms, and even when face to face at seminars and shows is centered around the basics. It seems most struggles and headaches are not due to dogs that won’t handle well on challenging doubles and blind retrieves. It’s rare that I am asked what to do when your dog stops to the whistle out beyond 100 yards but doesn’t want to face you in order to take a good hand signal. (Recall the dog a step or two in order to square them up, stop them again and then cast…btw) Instead, the questions that come up over and over are almost always related to their dog’s foundation, or more accurately their lack of foundation.
Now, I’m certain that the direction this article is taking following that last line will have some folks turning the page. Nowhere ever, have I read about the idea of “foundation” being described as exciting, fun, easy, or the overall end goal. But the truth is, most struggles are directly connected and the majority of dog owner’s struggles are rooted there. I also find that the reason most struggle with the foundation is because they just don’t know how or what to do in most situations.
One of the most commonly asked questions I get about our dogs is, “How do you keep your dogs calm?” This question usually comes when I have multiple dogs ranging in age lying quietly at our feet on their “place” amongst a lot of distractions. I am asked constantly how to handle pups that are just full of energy? I hear about how their dogs must need to have more exercise than others but because of work, kids, school…the list goes on, all the reasons they just can’t seem to do enough to wear them out. I’m asked how much time I spend running my dogs in order for them to always seem to be calm and under control. The reality is, I wish I were able to run and exercise them more. In fact, it’s likely that I might give the dogs I’m training less physical exercise than the dogs of those asking the question.
So, what’s the difference? I think the difference lies greatly in the culture that the dog is being raised in. Here is an easy idea to understand- a dog’s body is no different than the human body when it comes to their athletic conditioning. The more you exercise, the greater your endurance becomes. The greater your endurance, the longer it takes you to tire or wear out. Why would this be any different with your dog? In an attempt to physically “wear them out,” they are actually conditioning them to simply be better athletes which will in turn take more to tire them. It’s a snowball effect, in the wrong direction.
See maybe if this example sounds like something you can relate to: You got to bed last night later than you had hoped because you stayed up to finish a project for work or school (or you had to finish your article for The Badger Sportsman Magazine…nevermind, that’s me!?!) You hit the snooze button twice and now you are rushing to get the kid’s lunches made and ready for school or work. In the midst of all of this, you let the dog out of the kennel and then back in after the morning’s food and water. Off to work, then back in the evening only by rushing home to let the dog out of the kennel quickly before grabbing a dinner on the fly and then out the door again to basketball, soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics. Day after day, your specific routines and reasons may vary some, but the pace is constant. It’s FAST and HIGH ENERGY. How can you expect your dog to slow down if that’s not the culture you are instilling in them?
Now your schedule doesn’t have to be exactly like that, but you get the idea. The speed at which we move and the amount of things we take on these days is scary. In a lot of ways, it’s great and with the help of technology we’re able to be much more efficient, get more done and pull it all off faster. But, I have to remind you that dogs are not interested in technology helping them to become more efficient, and getting more things done faster. We, and our society, have changed greatly over the last several hundred years. However, our dogs have not changed one bit. They still learn by forming habits and habits are formed by repetition and consistency. Their behavior is influenced greatly by the culture they are raised in. That repetition, consistency and culture comes from us as their leader. When you think about it that way, it’s not a lot different than the process of raising a child.
I literally see people that are in such a big hurry with their lives schedule, they will jump on an ATV or UTV in order to get their dog’s walk in (which ends up being a sprint). Look back on what happens before these runs. The dogs go from zero to 100 miles per hour when they are in any kind of contact with us because they match our pace. When we take dogs out in a hurry and have them run for miles behind an ATV with the idea that they need the exercise and that this will help “burn off energy,” I think the owner’s heart is in the right place, but unfortunately they’re trying to put out the fire by pouring gasoline on it. The faster, harder and more you run your dog, the faster, harder and more your dog will be able to run.
So what can you do? I do think there are a few easy things we can do to work on this by simply changing the culture. But if you remember what I mentioned early on in this article, “More times than not, the whole work part, that’s where things start to get hard!” We need to take a good look at our lives and how we operate day to day. Think about your schedule and instead of simply trying to figure out how to get more miles in, see how well your dog can focus while covering a 1/10 of the distance, but under great control while in the heel position. Vary and set the pace in everything you do. When your dog is part of the equation, slow that pace down. If your dog wants to go fast (and the “excitable” ones usually do) you need to slow down to counter that.
In training, I often talk about the importance of balance. This is another example of when it needs to be found. You might break up the walk with 2-3 minutes of just sitting still. Two or three minutes doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re used to a fast pace with everything you do all day long, stopping and standing still for that amount of time can feel like an eternity. From that, add layers into the exercise that will challenge your dog to have to think about what they are doing instead of just mindless physical exercise. Mentally stimulating our dogs within their routine of physical stimulation can be by far the most effective way to “wear them out”. By simply doing a few things like this, you begin to work towards building patience in both your dog as well as in yourself.
The best way I have found to speed things up when it comes to raising dogs is very simple…just slow things down. Best of luck to you in your training!
The Versatility of the Soft Plastic Swimbait
Big Bass Baits, Jig Trailers and in between, the Soft Plastic Swim Bait Can do it All
By: Glenn Walker
When you say the word swimbait around a bass fisherman, many times their thoughts go to big baits that cost a lot of money and only work for targeting big bass. However, the soft plastic swimbait is also a great lure option to target big bass in a variety of fish holding cover.
The soft plastic swimbait has also evolved into a versatile option to present bass with a natural presentation in numerous situations.
One of the ways that soft plastic swimbaits, both solid and hollow bodied can be rigged is on a Texas-rig. By rigging your baits this way you are able to fish the bait through heavy cover, thus presenting a very natural looking presentation in the dense cover that bass live in.
Some of the areas that this presentation shines in include, shallow vegetation, such as eel grass flats and lily pad fields. You can fish this bait along the edge and let it just tick the vegetation or cast it into the grass and bring it through the cover; this will look like a baitfish or bluegill fleeing a predator.
The two other areas of shallow water cover that a Texas-rigged swimbait is a good choice are laydowns and boat docks. The bass that inhabit these areas see countless jigs, spinnerbaits and even shallow running crankbaits. So if you can present something different to them, you are likely to have some great days on the water. Around boat docks there is a plethora of baitfish and bluegill, so a swimbait mimicking that forage will tempt bass to come out from underneath the dock to hit your presentation.
Some of the tackle that you’ll need for this presentation includes a hook, the two options you have include a standard extra wide gap hook with a small tungsten weight in front of it, or a specialty swimbait hook that has a corkscrew up at the hook eye and a weight on the shaft or bend of the hook. My two choices would be a Lazer TroKar Magworm (TK120) 4/0 or 5/0 hook, depending on the size of the swimbait, with a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. tungsten weight pegged in front of the hook. I’ll use this setup when fishing in and around vegetation, as it will come through the cover with ease. When fishing around boat docks or laydowns, I’ll opt to go with a swimbait hook like the TroKar Magnum Weight Swimbait (TK170) hook.
Regardless of which rigging option I go with, I’ll use a long 7’6” Witch Doctor Tackle Voodoo II Medium Heavy Power Fast Action rod. I can make long casts, feel exactly what my bait is doing and then have the power to get that bass out of the heavy cover. For line, I’ll either use 15 or 17 lb. test Seaguar Inviz X Fluorocarbon line, as it is very abrasion resistant and I can make long casts with it.
Another reason that the swimbait is so versatile is that it makes a great trailer for several lures. Using a swimbait as a trailer on a swim jig, vibrating jig or spinnerbait is something different than a standard grub, thus giving your bait a bigger profile and different than what other anglers are presenting to the bass.
Since the lures I mentioned above are used to replicate baitfish or bluegills the majority of the time, adding a swimbait as a trailer makes a lot of sense because it completes the lure package and makes it look very natural in the water. Two of my favorites are the Zoom Swimmin’ Super Fluke Jr. for a smaller lure profile in the water, or the bigger Boot Tail Fluke to show the bass a big meal.
Selecting colors for swimbaits as a jig trailer can go in two different directions. The first being, match the hatch as they say, meaning if you are fishing in clear water and the bass want a natural presentation, then go with a swimbait that looks like what the bass are eating. If they are eating shad, go with a shad colored swimbait, and if they are eating bluegills, go with bait that has more of a brown, green and blue color pattern to it.
The other color selection possibility is when fishing in stained water, go with a swimbait that stands out and brings attention to your lure. Such as when fishing a white swim jig or spinnerbait in the spring on a stained river, use a chartreuse colored swimbait, this will really make your bait pop and catch the bass’s attention.
A subtle soft plastic swimbait that I rely on is a soft plastic jerkbait, like the Zoom Super Fluke. This bait has the body of a baitfish and a uniquely shaped fork tail, that when left still, will move ever so slightly. Fishing a soft plastic jerkbait like this is ideal when an active school of bass has shut down feeding. Casting a white soft plastic jerkbait out to the school, letting it sink down, and then ever so slightly working it back to the boat with minor twitches of the rod tip will drive hungry bass wild.
I will also employ a soft plastic jerkbait in areas where other topwater presentations would get hung up. A weedless soft plastic jerkbait can be fished through heavy vegetation and dead sticked in the sweet spot to coax a tight-lipped bass into biting.
It is important to use an extra wide gap hook when fishing a soft plastic jerkbait, as the bait has a lot of plastic that needs to slide up the hook when you set the hook. If I’m fishing light line on a spinning setup, I’ll use the standard wire Lazer Trokar TK-110 Extra Wide Gap, but when I’m fishing around heavy cover and with baitcasting gear, I’ll go up to the TK-120 Magworm hook.
If you are looking to add a new fishing presentation to your list of options this season, give swimbaits a shot. They can help you catch bass in tough situations, along with help increase your chances of catching that big bass you’ve been looking for.
Glenn Walker has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River. Glenn’s sponsors include: Bass Boat Technologies, Humminbird, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Witch Doctor Tackle, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.
By: Chris Carns
On any given fall Sunday in Wisconsin (and across Packer Nation everywhere), it can happen. “It” is the moment when all green and gold faithful take a collective breath and a pause from whatever it is they are doing-THIS IS IMPORTANT. Eating and drinking stop, plates are held in mid-air, and silence is golden… the pressure is tangible as it emanates from 1265 Lombardi Ave in Green Bay…3 clicks left on the clock, the stadium is packed but is eerily silent…
All we need is a good snap, a good hold, and a good kick. The outcome falls on ‘ol number 2. Mason Crosby stands tall in the middle of the field, takes a hard look toward the back of the end zone, lines it up with his right hand, takes 3 steps back-and two to the left. With a confident nod, he’s set.
Snap. Hold. “Thunk!” End over end, sailing straight and true-
“Packers Win! Packers Win! Packers Win!”
We Packer fans, bleeding green and gold, have felt, heard, and witnessed that familiar scenario for the past 11 years as dedicated Packer fans. Mason Crosby has been our “go-to” in crunch time as the Packer kicker and we have all been fortunate to have such a consistent and confident presence when it comes down to “The Kick” to close out an opponent. Not only has Crosby been, and will be for the foreseeable future-lights out when it comes to sneaking out games for the Pack, he (like many fans) is a lifelong sportsman both on the water and in the woods.
Crosby began his love for the outdoors at a very young age growing up in Texas. He told us, “I grew up in Texas and got my first BB gun when I was about 6 or 7. I used to go all over the yard and chase after anything I could. I used to drive my parents crazy with that BB gun.” Much of Crosby’s love for the outdoors, similar to many Wisconsinites, came from both his dad and Grandfather Hayles or “Papa” as Crosby grew up calling him.
Crosby spent a lot of time fishing on the lake at his grandparents. The funny thing he told us about the time he spent there is, “…I never saw my grandpa catch a fish. I mean, we fished together A LOT and every time we went, me, my brother, my sister, we all caught fish-whether it was catfish, bass, panfish, whatever-we were all catching ‘em and he never caught a thing. And, it wasn’t like he wasn’t trying-he just never caught anything. That is one really crazy memory I have of fishing with Papa. He never did get mad or frustrated-I just don’t remember him ever catching ANYTHING.” It is a good thing for us Packer fans that Grandpa’s bad luck ended with him and didn’t rub off on Mason.
Growing up, Crosby also spent numerous hours in the woods with his dad and younger brother, Rees, hunting. Most of the hunting was for whitetails. His first deer hunt with his dad, while successful, was an eye opener for Crosby. As the story goes, “We were headed out to the stand, pretty early in the morning. Of course, I’m about 10 or 11 so I am excited, nervous, fidgety all of that stuff you would expect. So, we are walking down this road heading out to the stand, being quiet and taking our time when…out steps this deer-to me a MONSTER, but was really about a 6 point… just down the road in front of us. All the sudden, WHAM, there he is.”
So, my dad says, “Are you ready?”
“I think I may have nodded or grunted or something, I’m not sure. I raised up my gun and you can imagine how steady that was? Free hand, the gun was going up, down, to the side and all over the place. ‘Buck Fever.’ I was soooo unsteady and really all over the place. My dad put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘It’s ok, just breathe.’ After that, I shot. But who knows where that bullet went? I must have missed by at least 10 feet. My dad told me, ‘It’s ok.’ But I was miserable. Just crushed. I thought that was it. ‘Buck Fever.’”
We are pretty sure that just about every deer hunter can sympathize with what Crosby went through on that morning.
But all wasn’t lost that day. The story continues… “So, we finally get to the stand and I am pretty bummed. I mean, that was my chance. We’re sitting there, it’s quiet, and I am not really thinking about too much, feeling overall pretty crushed when my ears perk up and I hear something moving… crunch, crunch, crunch… I look hard-and unbelievably, there is a deer moving toward us. It is a nice deer about a 6 or 7 pointer. Here it comes again, my heart racing, I start trembling and all of the sudden I am FREEZING which is absurd-I mean this is Texas, so it isn’t cold by any means. It’s probably 55 or 60 degrees. ‘Buck Fever’ again…. So, my dad leans over, tells me, ‘just breathe’ but I was frozen. I couldn’t do it. My dad realized what was happening, so he took the shot-and we did get the deer.”
“So, now I am thinking, that has to be it. I mean, what are the odds ANOTHER deer will come by? That’s two in one day. But, that’s what happened. Unbelievably, about an hour or so later I hear something. Something is moving through the trees. I can’t believe it. It is a nice 7-point buck. I tell myself, ‘just calm down.’ And my dad tells me, ‘You got this.’ Now, that was just the boost of confidence I needed. He motioned for me to lay my gun across the rail for a rest and steady the gun into my shoulder so I would make a good shot. I took a breath. Breathed out and BOOM!”
“The deer didn’t go too far, maybe seventy-five yards. We pretty much knew I got it but we waited about 30 minutes or so anyway.”
“That was an unbelievable day. I went from twice thinking I totally blew it, to being on top of the world. I have always loved to be in the outdoors whether hunting, fishing, hiking or whatever and that was for sure one day I will never forget.”
We asked Crosby to compare the adrenaline rush of that moment hunting to being a kicker in the NFL. Crosby said, “Yeah, it is very similar. It’s about being in that moment. Both of the two are really surreal moments and you have to be locked in for both of them. In both cases, I have to be totally in that moment. When I line up for a kick, I am ‘inside my facemask.’ Everything outside doesn’t matter and I block it out. I go through my routine, take my steps back and to the left, breathe, and then I tell myself, ‘just go.’ And I go. It is all in that moment. Especially when I know I have to execute on an important kick. It is just about being in that moment, focused and locked in.”
So, there are really quite a bit of similar aspects to being in the moment of a game deciding or momentum changing kick for the Packers and being locked in to that moment when a hunter has to execute a clean and accurate shot on an animal. Both surreal moments that take clear focus, steadiness, and being “locked in.”
Crosby went on to mention that there are a number of guys on the Packers who also love to fish and hunt-which of course is perfectly fitting for our state. As Crosby said, “It’s good to have guys on the team with like interests. I just makes things a lot more fun and easy to be around.”
Crosby mentioned a successful trip out West elk hunting with Jordy Nelson and swapping stories with Jeff Janis. Seems that he does like to give Janis a hard time as he told us that Janis puts trail cams up all over the place and is constantly looking at pictures. Crosby noted, “I think he puts one on every tree in his neighborhood and backyard. He’s got ‘em all over the place. The guy just loves it.”
Being that Crosby is from Texas and is pretty busy during the season, he hasn’t had as much time as he would like to enjoy the outdoors in Wisconsin. But, he has gone out a few times on Lake Michigan with both friends and family and has gotten out bowhunting on occasion during his time here. He also let us know that he has a strong interest in, “Catching a musky. Those things are HUGE! That is one fish I would love to get after some time.” We wish him well on the fish of 10,000 casts, and we hope his arm is as strong as his leg.
As a Packer, Crosby’s time here started in 2007 when he took over for Dave Rayner. He came in from Colorado as the third of three picks that the Packers had in the sixth round. As Crosby recalls, “I was home with family and friends in Texas watching the draft. I didn’t know when, where, or if I was going to be drafted. But, I was hopeful. The phone rings and it’s Mike Stock who was the Special Teams coach at the time. This was really out of the blue as I didn’t think I was even on the Packers’ radar. I couldn’t believe it when he told me the Packers were going to take me with the third pick they had in round 6. It was an unbelievable feeling. It was, to that point, the coolest moment in my life. Everybody looked at me and my brother Rees, who was and is a huge Packer fan, ran and grabbed his Packer gear. He was totally pumped for me.”
Crosby expressed clear gratitude for all of his friends and family; his wife, Molly, and kids, Nolan, Charlotte, Elizabeth, and twins, Felicity and Christine, and parents, Jim and Karen, sister, Ashley, and brother, Rees, who are very important to him and who have stood by him through thick and thin. He can appreciate how fortunate he has been with his career and having people around him to share it with. It is impressive to hear and see in him the understanding and value he has with what he is doing and the joy in being able to share it with those people that are closest to him. Having the ability to live in the moment and understand that what he has is truly unique and not something to be taken for granted is clearly an important aspect of who Mason Crosby is.
While being able to see his good fortune, Crosby has had some rather funny experiences and observations during his time as a Packer in Green Bay. He relayed to us how sometimes just going to the store can be an experience. Crosby noted that, “For the most part, Packer fans and people in Green Bay are really very respectful of him and his family and don’t really give him too much unwanted attention when he is out in the community.” But, there was an incident while he was out grocery shopping during training camp that was humorous.
“So, I am walking around Festival Foods shopping which is really usually not any big deal. Fans see players out regularly so they have become accustomed to us being out in the area. But there was one time I was out that was kind of funny. I see this family seemingly in awe from around a corner almost like they are in shock. They continue to peek around corners and kind of hide which is weird. This goes on for a while. And then they seem to be trailing behind me. I hear a lot of whispering and it’s really just kind of creepy. But, after awhile, it wasn’t too tough to figure what was going on. I say, ‘Hey. Come on over.’ I say hello, give some autographs and pictures and it’s all fine. Turns out they were in town to watch practice and were surprised to see a Packer player at the store. So, not really a big deal but kind of funny the feeling of being stalked during the day at the grocery store.”
One important lesson that Crosby learned early on in his career relates to his clothing choices in Green Bay. It really boils down to two options, “…well what I have come to understand, and it didn’t take me too long, is that if you go out to a nice place like a restaurant, country club or formal dinner reception- you can either dress up with you know-a button down type shirt, tie, dress pants, sport coat, or… wear Packer clothes. Either one is acceptable.”
Crosby did tell us what separates Packer fans from other football fans in different cities. He told us, “Packer fans are really knowledgeable about the game of football. I mean, they love their team and truly see the importance of having them in Green Bay. But, they are really different in that they don’t just come to the game screaming, making noise, being rude and being obnoxious. I mean, Packer fans cheer and cheer loud, they get Lambeau really going, but they also really know what is happening on the field. They are just much more in tune with the game of football and really appreciate what they have here in Green Bay. There is a cohesive feel between the fans and the team that just isn’t the same in other places.” Smart, dedicated, and connected to the team, sounds about right.
Mason Crosby, avid outdoorsman, dedicated family man, and the all-time leader in points scored for the Packers has overcome hurdles and has accomplished much success as a Packer player. He, like many of his teammates, is also very involved in a number of charities and fundraising events. And we, as fans, are very fortunate that he was selected by the Packers in 2007. We look forward to many more “crunch time” successes and Lombardi Trophies throughout his career with the Packers. GO PACK GO!!
Tim Lesmeister to Emcee Blackfish® Classic Tournament on Lake Minnetonka
Rogers, Minn. (June 20, 2018) – Blackfish Classic Tournament for Bass promoters recently announced that Midwest outdoor communicator Tim Lesmeister will serve as host and emcee of Minneapolis Metro’s newest Bass fishing event. Hailing from the Minnetonka, Minnesota area, Lesmeister will be right at home calling the shots at this bass fishing tournament hosted out of Lord Fletchers on Lake Minnetonka July 30th.
“I’m truly excited to have the opportunity to MC the very first Blackfish Classic Bass Tournament on Lake Minnetonka. I know this lake well, I know the competitive anglers that are planning on fishing this event and I know this means there will be some limits of huge bass showing up at the weigh-in,” notes Lesmeister, “This is the perfect opportunity as a competitor to show those attending what it takes to win on Minnesota’s best largemouth bass fishery. Those who wish to learn what lures, presentation and locations are most productive, well, we’ll see you at the weigh-in where the top finishers will share their most productive methods. Get there a little early and we’ll share some fishing stories.”
Since his first piece on fishing was published, Lesmeister has authored over 3,000 articles, been featured on over 100 television segments, has broadcasted 30,000-plus minutes of radio and has spoken at over 250 events on fishing and vacation destinations for fishing.
On Monday July 30, 2018 Blackfish brand of apparel is hosting their first annual bass fishing tournament, where Minnesota Bass anglers have a chance to cash a check for $10,000. With 100% of fees going back into the payouts and event celebration, this will be a competitive event created by anglers, for anglers. If there are at least 50 boats entered, the 1st place boat will walk away with a check for $10,000. And numerous cash and prize payouts for other place finishes will make this a “must-fish” for regional bass anglers. Anglers from across the Midwest are registering now.
Check in will start at 6 am on Monday July 30th. Tournament hours are from 7 am to 3 pm, with the live weigh in at Lord Fletchers. Entry fee is $350 per team/boat. And, if participants of the Blackfish Tournament wear a Blackfish branded shirt or hat during weigh-in and place in one of the top 10 finishers of the tournament, they will receive a $250 Blackfish gift certificate valid their choice of Blackfish apparel on BlackfishGear.com
Registration is now open at www.BlackfishClassic.com.
Whats up. Im Todd. I like my dog, boats, the open water, the American flag and guns. Some might describe me as a "basic bro", but I'm really just a down home country boy. And a country boy can survive! Im usually out on the water in my fishing boat or canoe with my dog drinking a beer. Stuff on here is stuff I like. Cheers.