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Blue Ribbon Fishing Expo & Open House

Join us for our 10th annual Fishing Expo/Open House on Saturday, April 8!
PLEASE NOTE:

  • While our store opens for business at 6:00am on Saturday, our guest tackle vendors (including Lake X and Kramer Bros Tackle) located in the outdoor tents will not begin tackle sales until 10:00am. Sales will be first come, first-served, starting at 10:00am. You are welcome to come early to wait in line, if you so choose.
  • Event Parking is located ACROSS THE STREET from our business (on the west side of Century Ave) at LCS Lawn Service, whom we thank for their gracious accommodation.

Blue Ribbon Expo / Open House 2017

Besides accessorizing your boat and filling your tackle box with some of the hottest lures available, you’ll also have the chance to chat with some great people, including our knowledgeable Pro Staff members, Dick “The Griz” Grzywinski, Travis Hultgren, Chad Mitchell Peterson, Joe Hennessey, Scott King, Matt Gunderman and Jake Nelson.
Mark your calendars now. It’s going to be a grand party!

Guests are continually being added to the line-up, including:

  • Dave Christenson, Fishing Guide & Owner of Top Water Tackle
  • Full line of Elk River Custom Rods
  • Twin Cities Muskies Inc.
  • Many more!

Labor Day Sales Event

Stock up in September and get 20% off! Aug 24 – Sept 6. Further details attached. Please also note that as of 8/26/16, we do not yet have Lake X Lures in-stock. When we do receive that highly anticipated shipment, they will not be eligible for the 20% discount. Thank you for your understanding.

Labor Day 2016 Info

4th of July Sale

4th of July 2016 Sale

Tips for Musky Lure Gift Giving

lure presentHere are a few recipient-tailored hints to help you avoid some potential snags…especially when the gift you’re giving includes sharp hooks.

YOUR BOSS: DO wrap the lure in bubblewrap or similar packaging with adequate cushion/protection. Include a “sharp hooks” warning on the outside of the package in case it’s opened when you’re not around. If you are there for the big reveal, be prepared to listen to lots of fish stories, from anyone and everyone standing nearby. Make the best use of story time and holiday spirit by suggesting a team building event with a local fishing guide. Many guides can rent a pontoon or sub-contract other guides to accommodate larger groups of people. Ice fishing would be another possibility for a larger group. Think you can out-fish your Administrative Assistant? How about Sue from Accounting? Fishing competitions among co-workers can be a blast.
DON’T wrap the lure in one layer of bargain bin wrapping paper and leave it on his/her desk. Boss’s Christmas present + hand injury ≠ raise.

SIGNIFICANT OTHERDO see wrapping instructions above. Consider attaching travel brochures from new and exciting musky fishing destinations. This article from In-Fisherman offers some great possibilities. Musky fishing plus romantic getaway? Win-win!
DON’T give a musky lure hoping your SO won’t want it and you’ll get it by default. Sharp hooks and plastic can only scream “I love you,” to the right person.

FISHING BUDDYDO temporarily transfer all hopes and dreams for The Big One to your buddy. Maybe they’ll even catch their personal best. You are such a great friend.
DON’T expect credit in the photo of the new State Record fish your buddy might catch using the lure you gave him/her. If the very thought of that makes your eye twitch, just save yourself the torture and buy a second lure for you to keep. You’re still a great friend.

KIDS: (Seriously? No, we are not promoting this idea. But we acknowledge desperate times, desperate measures, and all that…) DO: Remove all hooks and provide constant adult supervision. Many lures contain lead, and you don’t want any part of a fishing lure, lead-laden or not, to ever go into a child’s mouth. That being said, on the days you can’t get out on the water next summer, kick back and enjoy hearing your child tell their own fish stories while splashing with their new hookless lures in a wheelbarrow or pool full of water. It may pique their interest in one day joining you in the boat.
DON’T admit you forgot to go to Target and had to go shopping in your tacklebox. Stick to the story. Hey, you had this planned all along.

YOURSELFDO take a few moments to envision the surface boil, thick back, tea saucer-sized eyes, monumental fight and photo enlargement you’ll frame and hang on your living room wall. Maybe you’ll even spring for a replica mount. All thanks to this new lure. Awesome.
DON’T waste any more time reading this. Go shop online at BlueRibbonBait.com. You get 20% off (online code: winter20) through December!

2015 Blue Ribbon Fishing Expo

We’re looking forward to seeing you on April 18th. Let’s celebrate the beginning of another great fishing season!

2015 Blue Ribbon Fishing Expo

2015 Blue Ribbon Fishing Expo

Ice House Rental Rates

Call either store today to reserve an ice house!

Oakdale: (651) 777-2421
White Bear Lake: (651) 202-3632

IceFishingRental

Baby Beaver Musky Lure: Hard to Categorize, Hard to Resist

Beaver's BaitsA lure that both defies categorization and triggers giant musky strikes has a tendency to get people talking. Such is the case with the Baby Beaver lure from Beaver’s Baits. We’ve never seen anything like it!

Says Brian Boyum, inventor of the Baby Beaver, “I wanted to create something different—not another crankbait or topwater or bucktail. My bait swims totally under water. And I haven’t seen any other baits on the market that have the up and down movement of the Baby Beaver. I think it’s good when dealers tell me they don’t know what category to put it in!” And the feedback Brian’s gotten thus far on its performance has been “absolutely incredible.”

The bait’s body is tied with deer hair (about one full deer tail per Baby Beaver XL) and is connected with split rings. The rubber tail is molded onto the hook and is attached to the bait with a split ring, making it replaceable. Brian also added the option of turning the bait into a bucktail by adding blades to the front eyelet. “I thought, we’ve got a very unique bait here. Let’s give fishermen the option to run this as a bucktail too. It has some kick to it. The body twitches, the tail kicks, and then there’s the thump of the blades…all using the same lure.” Check out the amazing swimming action of the Baby Beaver on BeaversBaits.com. At the end of the video, right before the musky strikes, you can watch the rod tip action Brian uses to work this bait.

First Inspirations
It was the popular “Musky Fever” that originally led to Brian Boyum’s interest in creating lures. He started out hand-carving crankbaits, top water baits, and tying bucktails for his own personal use. But he soon found it to be too time-consuming, as he was already working full-time as an electrical engineer. At that point, he could not justify spending all that additional time on lure making.

Years later, however, Brian came upon an idea that he knew he simply had to pursue. A good friend and fellow musky angler in northern Minnesota had contacted the DNR for regulations on squirrel hunting, and upon receiving the green light, he went ahead and shot a few. With each squirrel, he then inserted a wire ring through the nose, with a leader attached, and ran another leader to the squirrel’s belly, into which he stabbed a treble hook. He then fished that dead, limber squirrel, and caught two fish in an hour.

Brian knew there had to be a way to mimic that presentation using artificial components. It wasn’t long before he had assembled a prototype. But when he fished it, he didn’t get the results he wanted. In retrospect, he believes the fish just weren’t biting that day. But that slow day led to his decision to shelf the bait.

Persistence Pays Off
Five years went by. And the party responsible for returning the Baby Beaver to the water? It was Brian’s stepson, Cody. As Brian puts it, “he kept hounding me for it, and finally I gave in and said he could go fish it.” Cody went fishing with the same family friend who had been throwing the dead squirrels, and who had also raised a nice fish the day before, so they knew right where to go. That day, Brian received a phone call from Cody who reported, “I just crushed a 49” on the Baby Beaver!” It was only four casts in, with the prototype on the end of his line.

After that phone call, Brian made four more prototypes in different colors. The first time he headed out with a friend to try out the bait, it again took only four casts to land a musky—a 53.5”! He cleaned up that weekend with another two 49’s and two 48’s. Brian went home and jumped into the next stages of lure production, researching different plastics and the how-to’s of casting and making molds.

Amazingly, the current Baby Beaver is nearly identical to the original prototype. Only a few physical characteristics evolved, such as the addition of a face and a unique tail, both of which Brian sculpted and casted to create molds.

Balance? What Balance?
As any lure-maker knows, it is challenging to strike a satisfying balance with your time. Brian says simply, ”There is no balance. I punch out from my ‘real’ job and then punch in to my second job. It wears on a person…I go to bed, get up, and do it all over again. But you’re not going to be successful at something sitting on the couch. I’m going for it.”

In order to get things moving a bit more quickly, Brian invented a machine that holds in place the deer hair and the piece he’s working on, but is also capable of spinning, so he can turn the piece and move it in and out, while the thread and tensioner are stationary. “Without the machine, I wouldn’t have the bait out on the market. Before using the machine, it took me an entire night to build one bait. Now I put the hair in there, push the pedal, and it’s all motorized. It’s pretty cool.” Brian estimates that when he sits down and ties without interruptions, he can tie 4 XLs or 6 Originals in 2-3 hours. But because tying these lures, even with the machine, is prohibitively time-consuming, (especially when he has more ideas in the hopper and more prototypes in the testing stages) Brian is talking with a few companies about getting the Baby Beaver mass-produced. “I’d rather not be sitting in my basement tying lures all summer and all winter long. Who wants to do that?”

There are plenty of bright spots too. In addition to the positive feedback he’s received, Brian reports that the most fun part of this lure-making venture has been the people he gets to meet. “These people have been in the industry for many, many years. And they’ve been great. I started this because I wanted to have fun, and to help people on the water. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

Baby BeaverSpecifications
The Baby Beaver is available in two sizes: the Original is 12” long, weighs 3.5 oz and uses 6/0 hooks. The Baby Beaver XL is 14.5” long, weighs 6 oz, and uses 8/0 hooks. The lure is constructed of plastic with .062 wire molded into each body piece.

To work the Baby Beaver, Brian advises using “a steady reel retrieve, moving the rod tip about a foot as you reel. It’s similar to using a jerkbait, but you don’t jerk as hard. As the operator, you have to make this bait come to life. You can do a straight retrieve and the bait will move, but it’s really up to you to make it come to life by twitching the rod as you reel.” Now, what musky angler can resist a challenge like that?!

Walleye Fishing on Mille Lacs Lake

When you head to Mille Lacs Lake, do you go in hopes of catching a few walleye and maybe enjoying a nice shore lunch, or do you dream of coming home with a picture of a monster musky? What does fishing this beautiful lake mean to you?

In the news this week is a lawsuit brought against the Minnesota DNR regarding its rules for Mille Lacs fishing. The non-partisan watchdog group PERM (Proper Economic Resource Management) is claiming that DNR mismanagement is to blame for the dwindling population of Mille Lacs walleye, and contends that the recent prohibition of night fishing (which applies between 10pm and 6am, from May 12 to Dec 1, instead of the usual three-week-long ban) tramples on our fishing heritage rights.

Fishermen know that when it comes to catching walleye on Mille Lacs, heading out during evening hours is usually rewarded with a hot bite. So, if the walleye numbers are dwindling (safe harvest numbers have fallen dramatically over the past 10 years), it makes sense that the DNR would deem those hours as the ones to limit as they work towards increasing the population.

PERM’s stance is that Minnesota’s Preserve Hunting and Fishing Heritage constitutional amendment, passed in 1988, is being violated. An excerpt from that amendment (used from Dennis Anderson’s article Anglers, resort operators sue DNR over Mille Lacs walleye fishing rules reads “…hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.” And many argue that it’s the walleye that make Mille Lacs Lake a popular Minnesota fishing destination.

Not everyone believes walleye is the superstar species of Lake Mille Lacs, however.  As WCCO TV Channel 4 reports in  DNR Being Sued For Alleged ‘Mismanagement’ Of Lake Mille Lacs , PERM also contends that the DNR’s management strategy favors trophy fishing instead of walleye fishing. As we all know, it’s those sizeable musky, pike and small-mouth bass that give many other anglers a reason to head north with their baitcasters and cameras. And it’s those fresh water monsters that, while providing great stories and impressive photos, are feeding on more walleye.

The DNR has yet to legally respond to this lawsuit. What do you think they should do?

Spring Fishing Heating Up

Spring fishing is finally starting to heat up, especially in pools 2 and 3 of the Mississippi River. Our very own Blue Ribbon Pro Staffer, the Griz, has done extremely well walleye fishing this week. He’s caught 9 walleyes between 5 and 9.5 pounds. Griz is using a fireball jig tipped with a fathead minnow. I’m also happy to report that this warm weather has opened up some great shore angling spots on the St. Croix River and Mississippi River. Many of the smaller local lakes are also beginning to produce fish from shore. Call the shop direct at (651) 777-2421 to get the most up-to-date reports.

Also, make sure you attend our annual in-store fishing expo on April 19, from 9:00am-5:00pm. I hope to see you all there!