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Editor's note: John Kolinski is the 2002 Professional Walleye Trail Angler of the Year, last year's Illinois River RCL winner and a 15-time championship qualifier on the PWT, RCL and Masters Walleye Circuit. His articles can be read in numerous Midwestern outdoor publications and at several web sites. Kolinski is sponsored by Triton Boats, Mercury Motors, Lowrance Electronics, Normark/Storm Lures, MinnKota, Lindy Legendary Tackle, Tempress Rod Holders, Off-Shore Planer Boards, Berkley Trilene, Optima Batteries, Panther Marine and Headlight Lures
Professional Walleye Fisherman John Kolinski
Innovative Walleye Technology
Pro Walleye Fisherman John Kolinski from Menasha Wisconsin
Age   54
Family  Wife Karen
Home Menasha Wisconsin
Occupation Professional Walleye angler and Customer Service and sales for a machine shop
Hobbies Fishing, hunting and camping
Years as pro 14 years
NPAA # 14

Johns Fishing Articles

New Item!!! Plugging the Gap by John Kolinski
Getting Schooled by John Kolinski
Fishing is Forever by John Kolinski
Take it to the Bank by John Kolinski

Seeing is Believing by John Kolinski

Two-timin' man by John Kolinski

Walleyes Come Full Circle by John Kolinski

Sizing it up by John Kolinski

Devious minds by John Kolinski
Looking Good by John Kolinski
Pliable and Reliable by John Kolinski
Give me a "W" by John Kolinski
Class Dismissed by John Kolinski
Abracadabra April by John Kolinski

Abracadabra April by John Kolinski

Easy Does It by John Kolinski

Current Events by John Kolinski

Fishing Greatest Pleasures by John Kolinski

The Edge of Darkness by John Kolinski 

Double Down to Win with Walleyes by John Kolinski 

The Need for Speed by John Kolinski 

Dirty Little Secrets by John Kolinski 

Sauger Soiree by John Kolinski 

Have a Crappie Day by John Kolinski 

Keep On Crankin' by John Kolinski 

Friends in Low Places by John Kolinski 

Open Spaces, Happy Faces by John Kolinski

The Perfect Landing by John Kolilnski

Small Water, Big Results by  John Kolinski

Rigging Tournament Tough by  John Kolinski

Taking the tournament plunge by John Kolinski

Fall follies by John Kolinski

Simple Pleasures by John Kolinski

The need for Speed by John Kolinski

Clear as Mud by John Kolinski

Yes I Wood by John Kolinski

March Madness by John Kolinski

How to Hang Ten by John Kolinski

Winter Fixes by John Kolinski

Dam those December Walleyes by John Kolinski

Fins or Feathers by John Kolinski

Go for an early fall spin by John Kolinski

Spooning for Walleye by John Kolinski

Mastering the Mystery  by John Kolinski

The path of most resistance by John Kolinski

When Inches mean pounds by John Kolinski

Lucky Charm Walleyes by John Kolinski

Getting Jiggy with it by John Kolinski

Last Dance Walleyes by John Kolinski

Skinny Water Porky Pike by John Kolinski

FAVORITE LAKE  Lake Pentenwell and Lake Winnebago Wisconsin
LARGEST WALLEYE  14lbs 7 ounces 34" long
FAVORITE JIG TYPE Lindy Little Joe Fishing Tackle systems
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Lowrance Electronics the walleye pro's choice
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Berkley Fish wont let go
  • 2000 In-Fisherman Masterlock Sportsman of the Year
  • Avid Sharp angler award In-Fisherman PWT Championship
  • 8 time Championship Qualifier
  • In-Fisherman PWT Super Pro Qualifier
  • 1996 MWC Lake Petenwell Winner
  • Big fish awards In-Fisherman PWT and MWC
  • Over twenty top Twenty finishes

For a lot of us - and some more than others -- fishing is a part of who we are. It's more than a hobby. It's more than a weekend escape. And it's more than a pastime to enjoy with family and friends. It's a bit of adventure. It's a mystery to be solved. It's a test of skill. And it's filled with rewards ranging from a fresh fish dinner to memories that last forever to a year-round way to escape the daily routine whether it's for a few hours or a few days. Two results that can develop from fishing stand apart for me and always put a smile on my face. The first is watching a new angler fall in love with the sport like most of us did when we were kids. We can help make that happen. In fact, it's part of our duty to make sure the next generation not only learns to enjoy the tremendous resources we have in North America, but learns to understand, appreciate and protect them, as well.

With a few considerations and a little planning, it's not hard to organize an outing that will delight a small group of young anglers. First impressions last a lifetime, and so do bad experiences. First of all, pick a fair-weather day when the temperature is warm. If it requires a half-hour to mummify a kid against the cold, chances are it's not going to be a very enjoyable experience. Comfort is a key. Don't plan a dawn to dusk outing. That's more than most kids are willing or able to deal with. You'll get better results during a half-day excursion. If your young anglers aren't ready to go at the predetermined time, so be it. That's bonus time for everyone. Choose a location where the fish are always cooperative. That probably means sunfish and bluegills with a few pike mixed in - not finesse jigging for walleyes or pre-dawn hunts for finicky crappies. Pick a weedy bay in a lake or a river backwater known to hold good numbers of pike and panfish. Make the actual angling interactive and maybe even a little competitive. Scatter a few simple tip- up rigs around the bay or backwater for pike. When a flag pops up, let the kids race for it. If you're worried about equal opportunity, draw numbers instead. Let the kids help with the rest of the set-up duties. Show them how to safely use an auger, and let them each have a turn at operating it.

Keep their fishing presentations simple and visual. Forget about the spring bobbers, jigging spoons, super-sensitive graphite ice rods and live bait. With panfish, a Berkley Power Wiggler or Gulp! Maggot under a Thill float fished from a Berkley Lightning Rod is a great way to go. The Power baits are durable and won't need to be replaced every time a bluegill or sunfish grabs hold, the float tells no lies when it comes to aggressive bites and the rod is durable enough to handle whatever is on the other end, from panfish to bass and pike. Set up a tent or two where the young anglers can slip inside for short periods of time. Inside that tent, set up a couple of sonar units where the anglers can watch the underwater world come to life. Lowrance's new M68 S/Map Ice Machine is ideal. It's the first portable sonar unit that combines GPS navigation technology in an ice fishing package. Today's generation of video game kids love technology and interactive activities. If you have access to an underwater camera, set that up, too. They will be both amazed and engrossed as they watch underwater aquatic insects dance across the screen and witness the fickle moods that fish exhibit. They'll be full of questions that provide an opportunity to teach them about the environment, the predator-prey relationship, the circle of life and the way things like weather affect fish behavior. Don't expect fishing to keep a young angler's undivided attention for long. Today's kids need constant stimulation, so when the bite slows have something else for them to do. Frisbee and football are great ways to take a break from the fishing. Nourishment is another good diversion. Take along a portable grill and it's easy to whip up a rich hot chocolate. Later in the day, cook up some burgers or heat up some chili or soup. Most of all, make sure they hook up with at least a few fish. Hopefully, they will catch most of them, but if they don't it's no big deal. Let them learn from their mistakes. Show them how enjoyable the overall experience can be. There's nothing worse than dragging a reluctant kid out into 20-below weather to sit in a tent or ice house and watch a graph all day hoping for one walleye bite. Those kids may never return, and they'll never know the pleasures and satisfactions that ice fishing can provide. Putting a smile on a young angler's face is one of the two most rewarding experiences in angling. The other? Letting a trophy fish go. But that's another story.

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