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Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson
Bigwater Fishing with Ross Robertson

Episode 42 · 1 month ago

Larry Dahlberg - Fishing TV Host "The Hunt For BIg Fish"

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Larry Dahlberg of Taylor Falls, Minnesota, is immediately recognizable to many people because of his television show “The Hunt for Big Fish”. An all-around fisherman, Dahlberg travels the world showing anglers how to catch giant fish of all species on his program. The Hunt for Big Fish television show was established in 1992 and airs 26 original episodes each year on the NBC Sports Network. Larry talks about growing up fishing, guiding by age 11 and how he came up with the ideas for many of his popular lures .  

Capt. Ross Robertson has made his complete living chasing walleye as a full time professional angler for more than 20 years. Through the years he has worn many hats including time as a fishing guide, boat salesman, TV host, outdoor writer, product designer, tournament fisherman, speaker, radio host and podcaster to name a few. Ross fishes ice-out to ice-up on the Great Lakes. He spends the majority of the year walleye fishing on Lake Erie’s Western and Central basins.  

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These are. Dude, here we go. We we've been bringing it and I don't I know you don't know this because you're not a fishing guy, which is sometimes good for our relationship, and sometimes we have another Unicorn. I don't know how I'm doing this. I'm not going to tell people how I'm doing this, but you know, we've had the likes of Gary Roach and outlander, which are UNICORNS, not only because they're the big time at what they've done for a millionaires, but they don't do podcast. I only know what a podcast is, right, but that's not their deal. Well, I've got another one of those, and you might have to search this guy out, but anybody that's fished has known this guy. He has developed so many lures and rods and reels, TV shows, you name it. We have Larry Dolberg on the shell. Yeah, so I did. When you told me we had Larry, I did look them up and just legendary career, right. I mean the amount of lures and things he's developed. His TV show. You know, he's he's a he's a science guy, right. He takes a science approach to everything and you know, I think that's led to probably the success of his lures. I'll go on a limb and say Larry's one of the best fishermen that there is to do it, and it's mainly because he doesn't just catch fish or put himself on the right circumstance, which is obviously what a great fisherman does, but I think he understands why it happened and when it's going to happen. And because what you just said, and he's he's a he's really involved with the start to finish, you know where I think a lot of guys just want that instant gratification right catch them, hey, why did you catch them there? But whatever I call him doesn't matter. And and Larry would probably only almost get is, if you watch this stuff, more angry because he doesn't know why he caught them, even though he already caught them. Like, how do you even get mad at that? But that's that's kind of my tasket. So I'm interest to hear some of the stuff. You know, he even I know he did some stuff with in fishermen for quite a number of years and it's just funny so many of these legendary guys, how connected they are with people that nowadays we don't realize that they were connected with you know that they started with back in the day, and he'll pass may have went differently, but yet the correlation there. So we're not going to tell you how we got Larry Dlberg on the show, just seeing. Promise you he's going to bring it. I just he doesn't know how not to. All right, real quick, tell everybody what to do, where to find you. Let's give you the quiz here. Yeah, I can see if I pass my own tests again. Big Water Fishingcom we are on Instagram, we are on facebook and of course we are in Youtube, just like you could watch right here with the videos with our podcast series. are cooking stuff, are informational video, all that good stuff. But our podcast is also available on digital downloads, spotify, Google, apple. Help me one more, one more, stitcher. Man. I almost I feel like I almost passed that one. Well, let's get to Larry, because I don't I've been waiting for this one, to be honest with you, because, like I said, of all people that just doesn't they don't do these things, kind of like the alinder thing, Larry is not a guy that is super involved with getting around people like and that's what makes it so awesome. So I can't wait too to dig into this one. Let's do it, Larry, welcome to the big water podcast. You know, we've had a little technical difficulties here, but we are happy to have you. I can personally say that I have watched the hunt for big fish and, I'm a bunch of other things through the years and I'm really glad to have some time and steal a little bit your knowledge, if you don't mind. Well, I'm up, I'm ready to roll. So how did we even get here? I mean, you know, I know my journey to make a fishing you know, living for twenty plus years so far, believe it or not, has been a windy road and up and down. I'm sure you're very similar. I mean, how do you get to that point? I mean, obviously you love to fish, but at what point did you quit a job, or did you kind of fish bomb out of the beginning or help this start out? Charlie died. Is it all? There was a private fishing camp consisting of...

...a bunch of wealthy industrialist type dudes that start in the lower Mississippi River and when the Mississippi got messed up by the Army Corps. They moved north to this area and it was guys like Mr Pillsbury that started the Pillsbury company. Daniels family, a DM company, vice president of had a been a national for General Electric guys like that. Anyway, they had a private club and there was a bunch of guys at two, three, four, local guys that did the guiding older people. And one of them died and a Pillsbury was coming as emergency help. You know, we need a guy. They called my dad. He said take the kid, he knows where the past are, and I got my first try out. I could think I was eleven and after fishing with them for a day I got a full time job. So that's that's how I got into it. You've been doing this wild then. Well, what it was? My own man used to when I was a little kid of you know, they let people run free. You've got your dogs run free. You like kids run pretty little town, you know, nine hundred people had at age five and six I was down at the little reservoir in town all by myself winging a daredevil with fifty four pound line on it. As I got older, age nine, ten, my old man and dumped me in the river and pick me up three days later. Cana. I got to just, you know, be a like a wild child and I'd climb trees and look down in the water. They and poor eyed glasses and so they had to get up in the air to see what's going on. And I catch frogs and crayfish and crap and bring them up, throw them down in the water and watch a fish come out and eat them. So when a guiding some five fisherman, I know there's a red rock over there and there's a three pounder right up stream from it. You can't see if from here, but if you climb that tree. And the other guides were much older than me, to take fish walleyes mostly. They only guided when they were with the fly fisherman who fish top water. So they did, you know, they knew the good banks, but they didn't know like yesterday there was a four pounder right there. And it's everyway. This fella thought I was a savaved because every time I said there's one, there there was. And then I got a full time job, that's all, and it was it just matter of time on the water with your eyes open not so yeah, stick now ever, never will. But you know there's a big difference result of the young kids even now that like to fish right, and then that weans a little bit. Guys get into girls and stuff. As you get into high school things change and sports or what have you. I mean this continued on and high school obviously we're you still doing the guiding thing and Oh yeah, yeah, it was a great big other than that. Around here you want to make extra money, had a paper out, you go pick cucumbers or do something. Well, lawns guiding, where I was making fourteen dollars a day and doing what I love to do when I was eleven twelve years old. And so I did that all through a high school and college and so on, and we lived on a on a had a cabin on a lake and I got a depth finder really early in life and with it first came out, and so I was sort of a combination of river fisherman, Lake Fisherman, fly rod, spoon plugs, wire line, you know, every you know born in that time of we had a revolution and angling where we had learned about US topography, Buck Perry had evangelized, and so it was a kind of the renaissance period, I think, in modern Angling, and I was lucky enough to be at...

...the right age at the right time for that. But anyway, yeah, just got I love to fish and I got a job guide and the only people I ever guided were fly fisherman. My Dad wouldn't let me take other people. He said they'll come back without it, without you, that fly guys are don't any worry about them. That's probably true. That's probably true to this day. Yeah, and Walleyes. I always looked at them as a punishment because my mom wouldn't let my dad and I really focus on muskies until we filled the freezer with wall eyes and a hall through life I would I fish. I like the eat wal eyes and I know that's what most of your podcast is, but they're an interesting animal and we talked earlier. I was on the scene when the twenty two pound eleven ouncer was caught a bruce ferry. Go down there with a couple of buddies of my billy lender. Do you know bill lender? I do. Yeah, Willie was with us. That was when it was really, really young and it was a good friend of Mike, Frankie du Seca from Frankie's live bait and Barine Aperis of largest ranger dealer now. Back then it was just we were just kids. He went from meddows to boats. That's probably a good move. It was a good mood. But Anyway, we drove down there, out to greers ferry and there because there was some event. I forget what was going on, but I've heard about these big wallis and so we went down there, snipped around a little bit and we had we well, first I got to it was a crazy experience. We go out. We don't know, but Frankie and I don't know billy lender from from Adam and Willie back then. He's always been really funny. He's always goofy. Back then he was super goofy and he had all this croo curly goofhy hair, and so did Frankie. He had a he had he's balled now, but anyway you had one of those, those guys that are curled their hair. Back then I wasn't one of them, but anyway, both these guys are like that. And we've got a motor home and we drive down there. Were parked by a big, giant rock that's bigger than the motor home. We've got a map and this is pretty you know, gps or any of that, and gruce ferries a great big body water. We get down there, it's nighttime. We go out in the middle of the night, it's dark. We go out and work in the middle but we don't know where the help we're going on. We wind up in the back end to this little dead end a creek R and billy lender is running the boat and Frankie and I were thinking, you know, he knows what he's doing. But we're starting to go around in these real tight circles and we're trying to fish, you know, want to say where what's going on? And it turn and we're looking at each other. Will he's, you know, billing lendry muscl he's doing and and it's a real tight little area and we realize, will, he's asleep. He's standing off confetrol motor paled. He's fast asleep. That's just Willie. We got you get to know it. So anyway, we decided we better go home and we get out of there and we realize we don't know where, really where we are, but there's a radio tower that we had used as a reference. This way, way, way down. And so now Frankie's driving and I didn't know him that well really then and I'm riding beside him and we're kind of going slow in this bass boat and all of a sudden there's some trees around and I'll crap, we're out of the channel. We're going along and all of a sudden the boat goes up on and like this, at tips, Frankie's driven up into the crotch of a tree and I turned back and Willie is fallen off the back seat and landed on the back of the motor. They were both asleep. Frankie's driving. I find he had narcolepsy. Found out that later. And we we finally, you know, get back to where we had parked and I'm look this map. There's three rivers that came in there and I figured the hell with...

...this. There's a we ran a little boat and we brought a little motor with us, like a fifteen horse, and I've been sniffing around the Moss these rivers. I knew that's what these wal eyes were. So we get this little boat or screwsing around out there and and there's a delta off the river mouth to some stumps and stuff on it and we bump into this this guy to Kayak. It's got a Green Kayak with a beer cooler in front of him. He's got a depth finder on it, a trolleing motor on it and he's dragging is like a bomber that ran maybe twelve fourteen feet, a like a long a with a flip on it and they got sharp. He hands up catching a twenty two pound, eleven ounce wallet big. So I was Al Nelson, all Nelson F from the Red Rooster Cafe and Hebrew Springs. Great Guy, and I got a bunch of really good photos of it and touched it and sniffed it. It was about thirty seven inches long. It's just huge fat, fat, fat, fat, fat fish. So correct me where I'm wrong here, because I don't know the whole story. But there was a tournament going on. Yeah, kind it kind of like a tournament. What it was the Fairfield Bay. There's a bunch of really wealthy people that have bought all this really inexpensive, you know, he'll billy land, you might call it, and they wanted to promote it. And so if you broke the state record. It was like a twenty fivezero dollar reward or prize, and if you're broke the world record, it was twice that. So it was a really big deal for people, which leads me to the rest of the story. So anyway we I see what the deal is and I know where these Fisher I look at the you know, maps, and there's a topographic maps that give you elevations. So what we did? We got this little boat and I grew up running rivers and we start tearing up this river. I forgot which of the arms it was. I could look at a map. I think was a middle one, but I don't remember. So so, so long ago. And we run up and come to a rapids and I dump out the other two guys that I had run the boat up through the rapids. They get in. We'd run up, go up, kept going till we got to like man, they this is it. They cannot get up stream further. This is where the willies will spawn. The substrate was right, everything was right. High noon, clear blue skies. Frankie throws out tencil tail Jig. Flash of BOOP TAILED JIG HOPS it two or three times home, catches a twelve pounder, we catch another, one, another one, like six pounds, eight pounds. I mean this noon and gin, clear water and free time, and I said, okay, man, we'll just sit here. The Sun goes down and it's going to happen. It was a set and perfect set up. That's rapids with a flat above it, eight ten feet of water, bunch of big boulders and it ran up to a rapids. If there's no way they're going to get up. It's got rocks, you know, pea size on, up through the whole spectrum with some boulders in its perfect, perfect, perfect place for Walleyes this point. So we're sitting there and it's getting darker and darker and then we see some lanterns coming through the woods. We're wondering what the heck and these people come and they got pitchforks and great big hoop nets, lanterns and shotguns and they said Hey, y'all, this is ours, but yeah, I'll get out of here. And we're pretending to be invisible. Other rivers like about a hundred, fifty people, and what it was? They were there to do some poking around. They'd go up and poke in the shallows and Walleyes and they'd scoop them up in these nets and for them. You know, if you had that big fish would be a way out of here. And well, anyway we got out of we got out of there. And is that what you were doing down there as you were trying to get that world record for this kind of competition or whatever you want to call it? Oh, not at all. I just down there. Here there's big walleys down there, so on go see if...

...they were really down there. That's all. I've never been too interested in, you know, competitions in terms. If I'm looking for a for a spish, I would go not at a time when there's a million people around or at a time that someone else had planned. I would go at a time that it was my time, that I would decide this will be the best time to go and for a while as of course, spring time and fall, any of those transition times for any of the fish that live in our latitude, you get a little bit further salt. We're Fisher not affected by the latitudes, hot and cold, affected by a high water and low water. It's a whole different systemic kind of deal. But the reason I was there was I was looking for see if there's a big walley there's a strain down there called a big river strain or great river strain, and I know fish of that species up to forty two inches long that have been been caught. So just that. Yeah, I mean that's you can correct, because I've never talked to anybody that was actually there for that. You know just that Al Nelson had that little sneak boat, like you said, like a glorified Kayak. At the time it was a duck boat, yeah, but at least not with the trolling boat on. It was brilliant. You had a good outfit, man. But there was supposedly more certified twenty pound plus Walleyes caught during that than the rest of history put together, because they hit that spawn just right or what have you. That's true. That's by but I mean it it wasn't one one year, it was every year for two, three, four years until like cranked them out of there. And I'm sure there's there. There's there's still a bunch of big ones there. If you're going to catch big ones, you don't catch them on the leaches. You know that. You to focus on a big Walleye. Standard techniques that we use to catch a string or a wal eyes are not designed. Yeah, big old stick Bates. Huh, there, I didn't say that. No, what is it? What's the inside tip? Give us the inside tip on this. We like big Walleyes. Well, you got a fish with what they eat and mean. Look at it, wall, how he's rigged up. Just think about it. He hasn't got sand paper teeth, like a bass. He hasn't got really teeth on the roof of his mouth, like a pike or a Muskie. He's got these really great little graspig seizing teeth. He's got a sneak factor built in with a with a eyeball system that's, you know, got some advantages. And what he's going to do. How Big Walleye in the like where I live, Minnesota, wisconstant fun, screwed up water in terms of being polluted and sent EC etc. Our primary forage bases are suckers and big Walleye. Big whalley meaning a fish in the three thousand two thirty four inch range, even twenty eight thirty inch range. They like to eat sucker manos that are about as bigger around as a bigger than a hot dog and they focus on those much more than they do on a smaller forage and I think that most of whalleye anglers, you know, he's stuff is too small. Also, they're not. They can be really selective. It's really interesting. I don't know how to exactly say it. Well, get fish that I know exactly where they are, and I had a friend who was a pretty good Walt Angler, in fact a guide, and he was telling me that you know how tough things were. A said, well, they're there, tough buck. Could the Fisher right where you're, where you're fishing them? I'll show you. And he was a kind of anti lightbait. I didn't think you needed to use live Abe and so he used mostly jakes and was a good jig fisherman. southlastics...

...on and it's what I did. I brought a live sucker minnows that I had bought from a bait store that had been raised in a pond. I had maybe a dozen and then I had another dozen that I had caught myself that were exactly the same size. That we're in a natural system. We parked on these fish, let him flip this his lures out until he said they're not here. I then took the farm raised sucker mental with a small split shot on it, pitched it really light wine ran it through, not an indication. A couple more shots and exactly I'm talking about within a square foot in the presentation of this thing. Nothing and that I put on one exactly the same everything that was caught in a real system. Flip it out and you feel the menu as he gets near where Mr Walleye is feeling good, old jumping duke, Duke, and that won't wot. I repeated it six times back to back. He became a believer. I have seen exactly the same thing happened with more species than I can name from things that you may have heard of. Two species that are familiar, and it's when they're tough. They can be tough and often times it is the reaction of what it is that they're thinking about eating that makes them bite it. And if it doesn't react at the right place in the right time and the fish is not charged up, may not get eaten. So what do you think was the difference between the pond reared ones reactions? I fished with a pondert suckers for Muskies and nice clear water environments where I've seen a muskies from up and look at the sucker and say hey, you know what in the sucker goes, Hey, pal, what's up? And the must you will bomb, bomb and bomb them and at the NF I get the sucker pull, he gets nailed. But if he doesn't react at the right time, often times the Predator doesn't need me because not all charged up. So it's a question of reacting at the right time. Doug hand and called it a random, non mechanical action. When it came to working a lure. You know the word. How many times have you been trolling along and you've been going along for a half a mile and then you go, snap, snap, and I'll sid boom, you got bit. That happens a lot, doesn't it? Or you're going along and I'm listen, but you may bottom contact by and you get bit. Go, go, fish, Lake, trout up in anybody of water. Pick pick whatever one you want, where there's a lot of Lakers and it's clear, put on a spoon of some kind, Jack it up, brought it behind your boat, stand up and watch it troll in the shallows where there's a lot of juveniles and you might find there's all of a sudden you got six fish following your spoons. All of a sudden there's eight or ten. They're just following it and you might feel a little tap now on that. Now give one of them a hard rip. Boom, it gets bit. They might follow it for a half a mile before they react to it. Just what it is. Don't ask me why. It's as if, yeah, you know, back here, I mean hundred percent agree with you and I doesn't matter if you're pumping a span bit or whatever. But like I later, that's like you're roughly twenty some years ago when Scott Stecker came up with a reef runner. You know, not that he invented the curve bait, but kind of as far as in the deep diving, you know all I world right, that kind of lazy. I look and that Bait. They're pain in the butt to keep tuned and all the guys don't like them, but they hunt and just what you said, they'll just kick out left right, especially with the current we have. We have a lot of pocket current. Don't kick left and right out of nowhere. You almost think the baits out of tune. And I really feel that that's one of the big US attributes of those baits and white of card.

Absolutely remember of Brooks reefer. Now we're getting hour. Didn't. Now we're didn't almost pass my age bracket, but I know what you're talking about, leader. And there's another one that was used up in like one a Bago, called a sparkle tale, same family of Bates that it was actually better designs on the one you're mentioning. Same concept exactly. It's older than the halls. It just people don't yeah, reinvented a little bit. Well, they don't get defined accuraty, accurately enough to begin with. Usually people so wow, they did it because it was this color or this or that. To me it's more important what they do in the water, when you move them them, what they look like when you're efficial something that's not static, you know. So let's talk about lower developmentally, because again, I can remember, you know, I don't know you, but I can remember following your stuff and see and did you have like a Rod Test Chart Unlike Your Back Wal at Your House or your shop or something? Yeah, what happened? Actually, when I was in my mid teens, we had some guys from the three M company that were members of the actually the president at a three am and the head of new business ventures and product development were members of our club and they bought a bunch of they bought Scientific Anglers Fly Line Company and they bought a company called carbonight that we're doing research and development and on going into the application of fishing rods. And they sent an engineer named Cecil Jacobs. He's a guy that brought a graphite technology from England to the US. He was an Air Force Guy, engineer. Then, after he got out of the stint in the air force, heat three am hiring for advanced cause. It composite stuff, and so he hired me to to take him fishing, you on, to photograph of Casting, fishing, flight, fly casting, regular blah blah, and studying the, how he put it, the mechanics of a flexible lever as it applies to Anglan and so what he did, he taught me, I really love, about how the way a rod bands, the curvature of a band or the material, the materials it's made out of, so on, its on, how that affects both recovery, how it effects casting, how it affects your ability to land a fish, all that kind of crap very, very interesting. So yeah, I always when I'm trying to develop something or a blank I want to find out what it compare it to another one that I have used in the past, and you have to have a pray of reference and that's about the only way there's it's and it's funny because talk about coming full circle. I know you did a lot with Shimano through the years and now I work with Shimano and G LUMIS and work will developing rods and that's what we're doing right now with with some new series. And, like I said, it's most people realize that stuff. But you've been doing that awful long time, you gosh, for fifty, sixty five, sixty years. It's a long time. That's a long time to do anything but lures, I mean the rods. I mean I know you're into that and that just shows like how kind of crazy you are with you know, you just don't half ass to do anything. But I need to understand. Yeah, that helps. Hope you do better. Right. Well, but somebody says, of why don't I fall off the earth? So well, because of gravity, but about bullshit. You don't know either. I need to understand. How does this work? As somebody that watches your stuff and doesn't know you are not one of your fishing buddies, they see, they see what you're doing and they see like the Mr Wiggly to me was the first thing where people that didn't know Larry Dlburg or the hunt for big fish saw that and realize, hey, that you're a tackle tanker. I know, I'm sure you were doing it well before that, obviously, but is that really the big thing that kind of catapulted you being known for a tackle her I really do I'm not sure.

I think now what happened. The first step I ever did on messing with lures was with him fisherman. They used to drive down mean you know Don persh used to run Nielsen's up on Num Rolling Lake. He's a Musky Guy, and Idaho's bring up drill and a and bunch of drill bits led that'd be drilled holes in Sue's while we were fishing in the boat. That was bed driving knots because I was drilling and lures, not casting. But actually I've messed with since I was really little. My Dad built lures and and Musky bucktails and stuff like that, and we were pouring lead in molds when I was eleven bouth, thirteen years old, homemade molds and sung. But one of the early hunt forbidden, not early, maybe three, four five years into the show, not for big fish. I have been sometimes having to pull lures out of the box that I've made myself to you know, that's what I needed a catch and I one of the shows, I think I showed how to make something. I can't remember what it was. I think it was a very variation of a sliding spoon actually that we used for tarp and tarp and you hope come they come up, shake their head, jump and you know, get off all the time. So I was using a sliding deal so when they cook, they get hook, they shake their head, the actual weight and the spoon go sliding up the leader and you they just don't get off. And I showed how to do that on TV and the producers and are the whatever those things are called, at Espn, you know, the people look at the shows and tell you whether they're good or not and like that at all. But when I ran it I got more responses from the audience than I would get up. I caught a thousand pound Marlin and so and I had a hunch that a lot of people that are interested in what I was doing are equally interest. Didn't you know, messing with lures and so that. That's really where it started. And then we started a little add junct to the show called Larry's workshop or it'd show people actually how to out of not stuff. Yeah, that's that's I think what I saw was and sort of people that haven't seen this stuff, like Mr wiggily's, basically like a I don't know how you want to describe it's a giant soft plastic right. Yeah, what it is actually there was a friend of mine looked down at Florida. It was really a good dude that invented something called a Banjo man and he got hooked up with some people that were well kind of took advantage, but it was a really, really effective, effective lure. But when you get to it beyond and it was hook, you remember it probably is a little screw and then as you get a tune right, get the right Hookie, snap that thing and it's we're talking random mechanical action. While that's it and it's that's it. But when you make it get them any longer than about this big, the hook so far forward, even with a large Predator, you end up with a lot of no hook ups. So what I want, what Mr Wiggly is, is a Banjo Minto on steroids, Banjo man who didn't have any keel or any way to keep it really as stable. I was made more of a twitch book and what I wanted with Wiggley is something I could do that, but also something I could burn really fast, that would track straight. And so the predecessor of Mr Wiggly is just a you know, Banjo Manwan Steroids, with some sort of obedience training thrown in. So I mean probably a lot of people don't realize that you are the guy behind the whopper plopper. That's been. That's been the pretty good deal, right. I mean that's what that'll people catching a lot fish on whopper ploppers. He was a website called whopper plopper nation and it's just I just love to look at it every morning,...

...all these people that are blopping whoppers with their whopper ploppers. So how did that thing come about? Because that's I mean it's I see a lot of kind of Musky style lure thing and that's you know, and now it's available to the top water. First small health or as a little kid, my dad started taking me. It was like okay, I wanted to go Muscu patition so badly and he wouldn't take me because I was a little kid and you know casting a Musky bags dangers. So he made a deal. If you stand here in the back backyard cast under the swing set into the box, eight out of ten times you can come along. I had a cast perfectly overhand, not like this side. It well, the summer I was six, I could do it and my mom's okay, you got to take and that's when I learned to row. Actually, he would sit me on the seat, pull in the left or pull in the right or and anyway I couldn't. You had use a top water lord because you know, a little kid and get a backlash. We went into slow. You're always hung up. Finally, I don't I'm a buy nine years old and I'm using this lower called a mud puppy things. I was made by a mos of a Wisconsin and a good little bay and I caught a caught a muskie on it. You know they would always the tails would break and it was made out of wood with a little metal thing, and I wrote to the company. I just wanted to get the tails and they didn't right back. So I repaired the tails and I noticed that if I if I would bend the tail differently, if I would bend it at a ninety degree angle, double ninety and then pull it out further before I recluded that it would make a little bit, make more about pop sound and I caught more fish on it. Well, Fifteen, twenty years or thirty years goes by and I'm fishing with a young friend named Josh Stevenson, who was a guy really excellent, excellent Angler. Has a shop in Minneapolis for St Paul called Blue Ribbon tackle and he liked that. And since the mud puppy there been many, many prop tail prop style baits, and his favor I forgot what it was. I told him, you know, I've got an idea for one. I've got this new material. It's a rubber and I've always wanted to make a really loud mud puppy style bait. Can I'll try to make one. And so I had made a couple of the first produ didn't wasn't good. The second one works just exactly perfectly. The tail was maybe six times larger volume and Josh and I got together on the opening of Muskie and went to this little light that he likes to fish and I think he caught like three or four of them on it just they just were eating it up. Throughout the next month he caught another thirty or something guide and then I showed people how to make them on TV, you know, make Lord thing, and then we decided a river to see wanted to build a version of it, so we did and that's where that's what I came that one has still been going to test of time. Is always the the true do you know? The tackle work off to just flames out quickly. The first one we made was one hundred and ninety, you know, pretty good sized one, and then when we are thirty and started making a smaller size ones. And I guess the real flattery is it's funny Berkeley one a prize for the product of the year with a copy of the whopper pot, which I think is really flattering. But anyway, well, you know, I the awards things that I'm kind of like you with some of that stuff. I don't really get into it too much because I think you can get too overhyped. Or like the one year and I cast where a bucket one best new showcase and I was like it's a bucket. Yeah, I when it comes to fishing lords, I always let the fish decide. The humans. The hymn was a...

...bite on anything. Well, that's always the first one you got to sell, that's for sure, but the second one is pretty darn important for the longevity. So lure stuff. Do you have anything else in the works? The are you going to kick out one more? Are you still tweaking that stuff? Is that been sidelined? Mess one that stuff all the time. I'm not into the BLOOR business to to sell Lord never have been the first thing I ever develop with something. It's called flash of BOOT. Now, have you ever heard of that? All Right, and then I've got a diver fly that just I just bade him to catch fish and then you know, they be fight out a bottom and they catch on. But mostly I just do it for my own purposes. So I don't have any. I got a whole bunch of stuff that I have show people. I only fish with two people, so you're out of let's say High School, College Age, you're still doing the guiding thing at that point. You even back then. I mean I look at it now, I think it's much easier to make a living. I would think I could say making a living fishing now because it's more accepted, aside from just straight guiding. So back up. However many years is that? Where you know dad or mom or somebody goes, okay, you're about ready to get out of the nest here, what are you going to do? or where they support him of the fishing thing. Like how's that transition? You know, when a kids sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen liking the fish and make a live in a whole different dude. Well, actually, I got out of high school and I graduated in one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight and the guys that I had guided had my life planned out for me. They wanted me to be a I turned out, a whole bunch of football scholarships at a bunch of major schools and so on, and I wasn't interested in playing a playing sports in college. So I went to a small school and the people I was guiding said Major in English minor and polly Si, and then we're going to pay your way to the William Mitchell School of law and make you a US senator me and then Vietnam King and I lost my best friend in Vietnam and I decided I wasn't going to necessarily go on with the path that I had thought I was going to go on with, and I wound up with a major and creative writing a minor in polly Pi and the guys at three am who I've mentioned earlier, who I was guiding, wanted me to go to work for them in the fly fishing side, the scientific anglers deal, but there was a hiring freeze on Jimmy Carter was president, and so they suggested a you should go get some retail experience. Now there was a store opening called Burger brothers boardings like later was purchased, I think, by holiday thing and her mouth. In any way, I went to work there for several months and for a few years actually, and published a newspaper for him actually and develop their business and then from there went on to developed manufacturers rap business and then somebody howuld I get into this media side. I got a call from Spence Pedros remember him. He was a writer for fishing facts and he was up in somewhere northern Wisconsin with Roland Martin and they were trying to do some television shows and he called me and wanted to, you know, call me out of blue. I don't already got my name even and wanted and all if I knew where there was fish they could catch. I said Yeah, and so I took him and rolling fishing and we caught three Muskies, Bing Bing,...

...bing, headed double actually, and the first one I predicted. The had told the can't we really funny print of this area. It's going to be right there. GETS SET UP. Sell Spencer Rolling, let's go right here. My catch running here. Man, we kind of like it over here. So I told Eddie the camera and I'm not think I'm going to catch a Musky right there. Yeah, and he hadn't had his camera out for two weeks. Any of this big cooler, said freed on the cooler, which meant ffing ridiculous electronic device. It was an early video handler and he this is really that. I hooked up a bait is called a refog. We just developed. A man out Tom of Ali and I were involved with it and I was selling it as a report. And Anyway, I made a cast and I had he was rolling. I worked this thing three times in a Muski about forty five inches long. Hated I caught him. These guys came over there and HMM. So they tied up to me and I gave him a couple refogs and they didn't want to use them and we told around there for about five minutes and teacher says I'd get out of here. There's not and I made one more cast and I saw a fish coming behind. I actually jerked the bait out of the water. I said cast right there, there's a Musky there. I just took the bait away from it and Petriss as, you wouldn't do that, gay, and they made a more bunch of more casts. I'm sorry, Spencer, if you're listening to this, but you don't. And I made a cast and I stroke, stroke, and home. I caught hooked another one right in front of the boat and I saw a flash by it and I haulered cast in my fish, cast, cast, cast, and rolling. By this time I had caught on quickly and he had put on the fluorescent green small reefog I had given him and he made a cast and boyingt he hooked up and we had Tuan at the same time and his was about a thirty four inch. I got off at the boat and when I had as maybe I thirty s low for s put in the tank, they had enough footage and then they went home and that was the first TV stuff I ever did. And then after that I at ender gave me a call. I got together and we did some work together and worked out a deal where I would write a thing for each issue of the magazine and then do a piece in each of their TV shows having to do with fly fishing for audball speed are not hot ball but non trout species, and that's why I got first hooked up with them and then later on wound up working full time and produce of the TV show and stuff. Then I work. How long were you with in fishermen? She's five or six years. I guess for pipe six years throughout the MIDE s till the one thousand nine hundred and ninety one, and then I went out to decided I wanted to see the rest of the world. You know, started a hunt for big fish. That took me to eighty nine countries, twenty three years. Wow. So the hunt for big this I think that's where a lot of the you know, the generation, or maybe just guys that are are old enough to that's where we know you from. Maybe it's not the dollbird diver, Flash Abo or something like that. Right. That's the simplest way because it was so mainstream. But looking back on those where those the DOS a days you're fishing career, being able to all all over and literally hunt for the big fish, pun intended, and nothing's change. I can do it now, but I don't need to drag a cameraman, the cameramenter, her painment about right, producer, different. I never had a producer. I would only take one camera man because I did all that. I did all the editing. I had to edit it, you know, I had to work. You know, I was running machinery, but it's okay, tape fourteen time, coote number one, hundred and four seven one, and so I louned tapes and did all that and then,...

...you know, produce a lot of stuff in them fishermen. So all I want was I had maybe ten eleven different camera guys I would bring along different people, just one guy. It's easier to catch, to fish with one guy than it is one fish with two guys, because they don't pay attention. You get two guys are every person. You add your contingent cost you five to ten minutes at breakfast. There you go. That's it's a different way of looking at it, but I definitely see what you're going with, fat so. Of all those eighty nine countries, I mean, where are the ones that if you could only spend a few I mean where are you going back? I mean we're one. Are the ones that are just the most memorable? Well, you know memorable and going back or two different things. I've been at three military revolutions that were rather on saddling, but a place I like to return to is a Trinidad. There I really like tarp and tarpenter just that they'll change it forever and I've chased him on the West Coast Africa. I've chased them in so many places. There are tarping that are almost four hundred pounds, like I've got video of the three hundred and eighty five. But anyway, Tarpe and I really like those and there's some really giant ones in the area around Trinidad and there's nobody bothering. I'm too much. Got A friend down their name Jonathan Dela Rosa. That fish is tarping down there and a totally different environment than anything that you would imagine or seen a normally. It's deeper water. There's a big river called the Oryoko River. It's two hundred and fifty Wyne miles wide at the mouth and it's a full of little islands and saw on a little there's a tide there, fifteen foot tide, and it's a tarp and hatchery of biblical proportions and when those fish blow out of there, they you look at the way Trinidad is set up. It's there's a little point that comes off of Venezuela and then you got the island of Trinidad. There's a pass there and anyway they have there's a whole bunch of tarp in there and it's a really easy, interesting fishing. I mean can fish with vertical jigs, you can Fisher with we catch the biggest ones on a ribbon fish that are probably thirty inches long, really, really really. So how did you select? I mean you got to keep mine on is Google and all this stuff. It's a lot easier that now. I mean, how did you slroll? It's easy. You look at a man where are not a lot of human beings, where if I got a great big artery that's rich and full of food and stuff, and then you just go from there. You can't believe most people don't know crap what they're talking about. You look, there's absolutely no way that I mean because they don't know what they're looking for. You get a travel agent or you get somebody and off a guy. By great, great example, I was snipping around for tarpet and I went to it led me to Nicaragua. There's a lake there, gets a second largest going on planet, or the Pearl to go. I'll spend thirty days looking everywhere, everywhere. I found these things that I find out, but it's horrible. I lost you so much weight, got real sick, lunch munch. So I find out there's a Frenchman that's got a real nice little place on an island and he's had a whole bunch of people down there that are outdoor writers and so on, that are supposed to be tarpet experts, so on, and they told me you didn't have a target fishery and it just you just got to know what you got to use. You know what to look for and get up at day. Most people don't even eat it. I travel with a highest quality depth finder that I could but I can buy. I would travel with it, turn into a portable. You get somewhere, you're fishing out of...

...a hollow log. You think the native knows anything. Now you hook up your three hundred and fifty a and just start breaking it down, and that's the deal. That's what you do the natives. Everybody talks about local knowledge and that native Booka Booga. That's a bunch of alone. You're right, because, like this other guy's fishing out of the hollow log. He may tell you where you're. One thing's going to happen, but probably not interning where. He knows where they were yesterday and he's got a big excuse as to why they weren't there today. Up There's pressure on it and you know some they know how to get home. That's the most important thing, but you cannot rely on those guys because they they know it's like the different one to eat it. Yeah, it's just it's just different. It's like before we had deaf finders. You know you cast to the left of the stump, but you know part of the fun deal is going someplace and rubbing the silver off a lottery card. So you just take a bit by bit and it's gonna be really difficult because you're tough equipment, tough times. You know, food might be pretty tough, but it's always a that's some really interesting experiences, that's for sure. So you mentioned that you were in the middle of three wars. They're explain that will be. There had to be some shenanigans going one of them we were in a there's a little country called south to May Principa. It's off the coast of West Africa. I was fishing. I didn't know much about Blue Marlin, but I was really lucky. You caught like a whole bunch of them, like eighteen of them, I think, over six hundred pounds, and we were just leaving and there was nobody there the airport except the arm guard and he explained that the country had been over the throne and they didn't get it sort of off for three or four days. What had happened? The president had paid the couple of guards, a couple of military people, like fourteen dollars is what he owed them per month, and so they took over the country and as pretty funny. And then now he had one. It was a just a riot, kind of Venezuela where they were dipping cars over and light them on fire. I forgot what happened there. pissed off him on something. I want a whole bunch of money to leave the country and we just use the TV camera, your name and badge. Then another one was in and the Soviet Union and the early s. It was bunch of crazy stuff in the almost got stuck there like for two or three months. got followed by the KGB to Kazakhstan followed us. It was funny. I'd be out fishing they'd be going through my junk, go through my gear. Yeah, that that shanges things a little bit. Well, you know, because you're such a thinker and since I've got your undivided attention, I look at like I live on Lake Erie. I've guided here for twenty some years. I've had great success. Obviously it's the place to be. As far as numbers overall sizes pretty good and we don't tend to get the giant giant giants. May We have incredible size fish, but you know, like the world records or even some state records and some podoc little places are bigger, and I just I think about like some stuff with like if remember Dave Santa From and Fisherman? Hey, I don't. Yep, he was the first one that kind of showed me about this frog deal. And I know, mean, you have talked about this before and you know, for a guy that lives in Ohio and we're fishing, you know Emerald shiners and this and that, like when you start here about a frog deal, like I literally, I mean Dave is obviously one of the most soft spoken, you know, trustworthy guys, and so if anybody else would have told me that, I probably would have like you're full of Shit. But he's like, I know, we got this frog pattern and maybe you can elaborate around that a little bit. And I know you said it isn't as good as it once was, but but its pure,...

...purely, purely related to how many leopard frogs are left in where you are and an area is that support a lot. You know, what does it take to support leopard frogs right, that's way. First you got to have that. And what happens in the fall? There's a migration where the frogs all hop down to areas that are anceptral frog hang outs of the winner and they buried themselves in the mud. I don't know if they call it a estivation or hybrid nation. It's not real hibernation, it's like estivation and the while I s intercept them. There the most interesting same thing I've seen with that. I was fishing at the mouth of the Rawl River and I'm watching these bluega sturgeon that our four hundred pounds, their tail coming up in their rolling around. I went in and they were sucking frogs out of the mud in the spring in water that was in the high forty degree range. So all the creatures that have access to frogs with their's frogs. Any predators going to go after a Muskie? Seat them, Wali, seat them, everybody eats and they meet him. It's just like anything else. There's some other interesting phenomymous. There's a the coolest migration that I know of that adds up to fish is the COOT CT coot duck migration. These big western Minnesota Lakes that have had a muskies planet in him and have got the big fifty, two hundred and fifty four inch fish. A lot of fish in that twelve fifty and range, mid fifty and range. They focus on coots. The last time I was over there we had a half a dozen fish. We're focusing. Instead of on areas where wind would blow in and big fish would gather, we're focusing on areas just the opposite of that, where the coots are at. Every muskie that we caught was poop it out massive amounts of coop feathers. So so what do you think a guy like me, or you know another hundred thousand guys are fishing on the Great Lakes specifically like you're like, what are we doing wrong to not catch those big fish? Like I know a guy who scooed up not doing I don't think it's a wrong thing. I mean what you got to do your guide and somebody wants to get bit and typically in any any fishery, if you could just park should have this huge view and just look. What you'd see is a whole pile of fish of the youngest year class and then a little smaller pile of them of the next and the next and the next, and a few places they might be mixed, in other places they're not really mixed, you know. Right, okay, and there's certain forage sizes that are universal that like a Wallis a kind of a unique guy because he can go from eating up hexagenia or a Leech to eating his own young, depending on availability. And they do that. As you probably know. Sometimes you'll have a bad year class and it's because of the allies ate their babies because there wasn't any hecks in the in the basin right after, they know, at the right period, right. Yeah, at the very big wall eyes that I have seen focus on forage that is larger than what you probably would expect and also they are in a smaller number just because they are holding it's older ear class and they need to get pretty, pretty old to get real, real big. And in most places where there's good wall eye fishing there's a lot of Walleye pressure...

...and people take them home on Zeppa. We need. And so you wind up with a food pyramid that's pretty flat in most cases, or I mean a food pyramid up. You know, your class pyramid gets flattened out because of angling pressure. And so now going places where there's you fishing with forage larger than you would expect, and what that does is help keep the rats off and you will catch bigger wallizing you after fishing areas with that forage exists, and that depends on cover and depends on you know, it's like anything to get down to word. Do I catch one? Will show me your body of water. You get got to look at what the environmental options are. Yeah, I mean for me, like an Ohio. I know that it's not probably first time anybody's publicly so this, because it's not. They weren't, don't really wanted around, but they shocked up a couple giant Wal eyes here like no question. They have to be there. There's two. There's two where who get there the way? I just wanting. You could also have Freakazo. It's, you know, fish that have got some sort of they don't reproduce properly when they don't have to go bits through that stress and they just get to be a freak. Triplid salmon maybe an example of that. And so you've pad either at first it's a that's a genetic freak. I can remember we had a Musky in the Mississippi that was forty seven inches long, forty four pounds and was eleven years old. That's a freak. So sometimes you have a freak wallete. But I think in most systems, just because of the way people fish, you're not going to be targeting the largest of the wall eyes. My guess is in those waters where you have Musky fisherman and Walleye fisherman that in the fall the Musky guys on Muskie bits probably catch more big wall eyes than the Walleye fisherman do. Certainly everybody. Yeah, I think you know. My take on it is we're not fishing the same place. As to your point of like, if you want to catch fish, most guys aren't willing to go a day or two or three without getting a bite when they could catch thirty or forty if they did something different. Absolutely right. Totally Mad. You can't blame. Well, it depends on what your objective is, you know, like I'm Lake Michigan. I can remember a guy twenty years ago, it was Scuba Divan and had some just crazy images of these wall eyes, who knows how big they were, that were blowing water and take cripp and that's bef you know, I want I'm like, I want to go there and he's like, dude, he's like the current. He's like, you couldn't put a lure there if I was radio in you telling how to get it. You know, those Walleyes were just taking this easy food that was sweeping through the current. Was Crazy. You know, you'd hang up, I don't care, Jig, rig or whatever you you'd hang up whatever it is in three seconds and and break it off. That's a perfect example. Perfect and you know, I just wonder, like in our neck was because a lot of people listen to this are Great Lakes guys and you know some of the stuff is you know, these fish used to be, I think, using shallow water a lot more than they seem to do now. A lot of her you know, the other thing is, like our state record currently was caught by a guy perch fishing, kind of the opposite of the spectrum what you're talking about. Using tiny little, you know, perch rigs and the bottom and sixty or seventy feet of water. You know, most guys are not going to get a walleyeler on the bottom and sixty seventy feet of water and present it probably slow enough for one of these. That was a super aggressive and I think that's why you see so many of these records, I mean that are caught by, like you said, you know, somebody muskie fishing, somebody catfishing. A lot of its catfishermen seem to catch big walleys, or at least record not numbers. Yeah, but I know you're a thinker on this and I'm wondering how much you're going to let us know what we need to do different on big Wallis because they just they act so much differently. You know, you can't look at them like you would like you said a six pound under Wallis. You're just they're different animal. But I would say your pet first of all define the most likely forage that they're going to target.

A large fish and as I sat up and in the latitudes where I am right here and seriously, a species of sucker in some of the lakes, they could be CISCOS and white fish up there. The white the right year class. Where you are, it has to be some shad sizes, your class shad sizes. You know, that would be or just I'm thinking out loud, but we want to keep you target. You find them, find the forage right, and oftentimes the problem is the forage that's the Best Bait is the hardest to keep alive, and the reason for that is it's the most nervous and it reacts the best. That's why it's the best and what I found. If I can tell you one thing about presenting. Okay, first of all, three good live ones are better than ten mediocre ones. Hot, strong, really good bait when it comes to triggering a fish that is hard to catch. And the other is look at the way that guys rag up for sale fishing and Marlin. But you do you take a little piece of take or whatever standard Hook that you're using, and take a piece of dental floss and you make a loop and then you take that loop and look a loop it around the hook and then you take a little teeny weeny little needle and you run it through the nostrils of your bait and then you put that loop through the nostrils and then you put the hook through the part of the loop people through the nostril, give it a spin, put it through again, and so you don't have any hook in your live bait. All you have as a little piece of floss that's got the live bait for the hook had been rid into its nose. And what that does? Any time you put a hook in, a baby starts to get all the weight of a tipping this way a little bit an he has to fight it to stay upright and he gets tired. Way that I'm showing talking about here allows a live bait to stay away alive way better and when the fish comes up and looks at it it's much more likely to get bid. Done it with a salefish, where you go from two or three bites a day to maybe fifteen bytes a day, side by side fishing two bits, one book, one way, one another. It's just astonishing. Also done it with with Wallis and with other species of fish that I know right where they're at. I just can't get the damn things to bite, and that's that's a good one. Are there any other major movements that you think? I mean not, let's forget the Great Lakes or whatever, but you've seen in your travels. Rather it was Gars faery, you know, forty years ago or whatever. Will we're yeah, some of the movements on these Wallis that are similar that maybe you are overlooked by somebody you know. I think most guys are. Just don't look in the right place for walleys because they don't do what you think they're going to do right and they shut down while I was getting really shut down. They turn on and awful lot like you know the way salt water fish can turn off but on with tides, while eyes are soul light sensitive. I mean everybody knows that, but I mean they can shut down and when they turn on, they turn on being confident and where you are and having really good bait and being there at the right time. You know you want to be at night's Talker, unfortunately. Well, I can't thank you enough for your time. I mean the we this. There's a lot of stuff. We were going to have to do this again, if you'll allow us, because there's so many different ways we could go with, you know, the crazy brain that is Larry Dolberg. Right. Well, I'm not sure. Not sure about that. I spend a lot of time...

...on the water and I'm happy to happy to talk fish and nobody else gets up this early anyway. It's just getting to be transition time right now. It's interesting to watch the water temperatures move and how the fish I relate to it. We've got to. I've got small mouth this year that are seventy miles from where they were last year. Date to date in the migration moping, greatly interesting. It is this. This has been interesting. I hope we can do it again. I hope you'll have us. Yeah, just give me a call. You got my number now we've got this stupid Internet thing figured out or whatever it is. Yeah, that's always like me and you can find a fish on a rock pile in the middle of nowhere. But yet sometimes the the technology world is in as easy to us, but it doesn't want to. Thank you again for tuning in and all the guys are listening to the big water podcast. Make sure you check us out at big water Fishingcom or big water on Instagram, facebook, Youtube and I'm sure if you got some stuff and there but producing Google, put it below so we can all see it. So thanks again, Larry, for your time and I really we've got to do this again, for sure, but my pleasure you stay. Say thanks, Larry so much.

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