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Tournament News Powered By Lake Drive Marine

By Louie Stout

Muskie brood stock

The future continues to look bright for Webster Lake muskies in northern Indiana.

Contestants in this weekend’s Indiana Muskie Classic should find a fair share of 40 inchers. Sure, the really big ones may be few and far between, but the lake is a lot healthier than it was 10-15 years ago.

We know that because the Indiana DNR was there in late March and early April, gathering adult muskies to strip them of their eggs to be developed and matured at hatcheries.

The St. Joseph County Chapter of Izaak Walton will host a one day “learn-to-tie flys” class for beginners April 22.

The class will teach the basics of fly tying and many techniques needed to advance in your fly tying skills.

The class will be taught by experienced fly tiers with explanation of what the fly represents and how to fish the pattern. Vises and materials will be provided along with recipe and diagrams of how to tie each pattern. There will be 6 to 8 difference patterns taught, time permitting.

Mercury Report

Soft Plastics

One of the simplest, yet most effective lure combos for catching a variety of fish species is a soft-plastic jig tail rigged on a lead jighead. When reeled, twitched or jigged through the water, these tails swim and flutter with impressive fish-catching action.

Sometimes the toughest challenge is choosing the right one. Soft-plastic jig tails come in thousands of sizes, styles, colors and brands. So how do you know which to choose in any given fishing situation? By following these five simple tips, you can confidently pick out a tail that gives you a good shot at success.

1. Match the Hatch

Choose a tail that’s similar in size and profile to the common forage fish where you’re fishing. The predators in any given body of water generally key in on body shape and size as much as any other factor when they go on the hunt, so you want to choose an offering that matches up with their prey. If you’re fishing for Spanish mackerel chasing anchovies, a small, slender tail will be a top pick. If the target is bass in a lake full of 4-inch shad, a 4-inch tail with a deep body should do the trick.

2. Choose a Tail’s Action According to Angler Skill Level

Beginners who haven’t mastered the art of subtly twitching and jerking a jig to make it look lively will almost always do better using a twister or paddle-style tail, which produces its own swimming action as it moves through the water. But there’s one big exception, covered by tip No. 3.

3. Change Up Based on Presentation

Horizontal and vertical presentations can require different soft plastics to get the best action. For instance, many paddle tails and twisters look great on a straight retrieve, but will spiral when allowed to free-fall, which isn’t the most natural look. Straight, tube or forked tails tend to fall at an angle to the bottom, and by twitching the tip you can get many to fall like a feather, slewing back and forth one way then the other — an effective presentation. So, while all the above work well when casting out then jigging horizontally as you retrieve, when you’re jigging vertically, using tails that won’t spiral is often a better bet. Since there can be so much variation in how different jigs fall, when jigging vertically the smart thing to do is to hold your lure next to the boat, give it a few jerks and watch how it falls before sending it down deep.

FAF Report

Future Angler

Bass fishing clubs have made a big splash on the high school scene in recent years, helping bridge the gap between academics, competitive sports and the great outdoors for teens across the country.

While the number of high school bass fishing clubs is growing at a rapid pace, there’s plenty of room for more, which is why the non-profit Future Angler Foundation (FAF), in conjunction with Into The Outdoors Education Network, offers a free series of four classroom videos with lesson activities covering all aspects of high school bass fishing, including a youth-to-youth introduction designed to help students form a club and get it up and running in their very own schools. These peer-driven lessons are even correlated to national education standards for use in schools across the country.

“At FAF, we strive to introduce the public to the joys and thrills of fishing and boating through our extensive educational, promotional and grass roots efforts,” says president, Patrick Neu.

Mercury Report

Making perch tacos

If you’re a fan of the Friday night fish fry, it’s very likely you’re familiar with yellow perch. This freshwater favorite might just be the ultimate fish for frying. That’s because its small fillets are tender and delicate, with a mild, sweet and delicious flavor profile.

For this installment of Cook Your Catch, Taylor Wright, of “The Canadian Tradition” television series, shows how to make yellow perch tacos. A dish that is at once simple and exquisite.


  • Two whole lake perch (or four prepared fillets)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

Preparing the Fillets:

For this recipe, you can either purchase fresh, pre-cut yellow perch fillets or you can head out on the water yourself and catch your dinner.