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'Boji Bound

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    'Boji Bound

    My friend and I are heading to the Iowa Great Lakes region this weekend. I have been there before but not on a fishing trip.

    I know about Kabele's and Stan's bait shops.

    What would be some others to stop at? Also looking for recommendations for lodging and some good places to eat.

    Dont need five star accommodations just a clean place to get some shut eye at a reasonable price.

    Oh yeah. Any fishing tips are alway welcome. Either here or via PM.


    There is a good chance I'll be bumping into you guys. Im flying solo on this trip. I'll figure out lodging when I get there. 😎
    NEFGA on Amazon Smile



      The Rodeway Inn in Milford is good. Get a room in the building on the west side of the highway. In Spirit Lake there is a Berkley store and Fisherman's Factory Outlet up on 18th St. As far as eating places I'm not even sure what is open off season.


        Oh Shucks Bait and Tackle on the west side of Okoboji. Home of the pilki lure. They estimate 150 fish / day filleted in that place, mostly bluegill. My first trip to Boji was in 2002. No limit on pan fish and Oh Shucks had been in the business of cleaning people's catches for many years before that. Be interesting to know the tonnage of bluegill alone cut up in that place.

        About the time Dave Genz introduced the first "Fish Trap" flip over shelter, a friend invited Dave down to hunt Boji ice for some large bluegill. Long story short, Dave struggled to catch a fish while his buddy was piling large bluegill up around every hole he fished. Next ice season Dave set up an ice tournament for bluegill only on West Okoboji to experience what techniques the locals figured out to catch a seemingly subspecies of fish that eluded Dave the year before. The first "Trap Attack" tournament for bluegill was born.

        As information became more available and technologies advanced, so did bluegill catch rates increase on Okoboji. Folks from all over the ice belt were filling buckets and freezers with bluegill in the winter. I knew a construction worker from Indiana that would show up around New Years and do nothing but fish all winter. He rented a cabin on Emerson Bay, invited a different group of buddies out every week to mostly pay for the cabin, and then send his weekly bluegill catch back with them to his freezers at home. He claimed, and I believe him, that between deer hunting Indiana and bluegill fishing in Iowa he could feed his family of 7 all year. Didn't take me long to figure out I wanted to know where Mr. Taylor's target area was before an ice tourney on Boji.

        I believe it was around 2006 - 2007, IA dnr placed a 50 bluegill limit on Okoboj but the damage was already done. Effect of no limits had depleted numbers and continual top down harvest compromised genetics. Iowa bluegill limit is now 25. Boji gills are slowly coming back but still only a fraction of what it once was not that long ago. Makes a person wonder what the yellow perch structure might look like 15 years from now in Cascade Res. Idaho.

        As far as places to stay you might check if the boy scout camp on Emerson Bay has anything available. At one time rates were very good for a cabin on the water but I haven't been there in awhile. Only motel I've stayed at was the Boulder Inn in Milford which was good.

        Sight fishing with 2 lb. test line, 3mm school bus colored fiska with either a small chart/glow duppie or pink spike threaded on was my go to Boji setup. That said, sometimes it took a more aggressive blade or teardrop to turn a bull. Also don't forget the pilki was built there for a reason.

        Sorry for the rambling. What started out as recommendations ended up more like a novel!
        Have fun! We want stories and pictures when you get back.



        • swoab47
          swoab47 commented
          Editing a comment
          Love it!

          Thanks DC!

        • Lefty76
          Lefty76 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for taking the time to share that! I enjoy all the bait shops in that area, but Shucks is probably my favorite. Lots of history there.

        xxx-xxx-xxxx Lutheran Church camp right on little Emerson cheap and very nice people . Walk to the lake to fish ! Okoboji is like no other !
        Last edited by Forum Moderators; 08-01-2019, 07:35 AM.


        • Sandbilly
          Sandbilly commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you Mike! Yes the Church Camp is where you want to stay.

        Don your post brings back lots of good memories . Great read !

        Andrew you will have a great time . Look forward to pictures


          Thanks for the info guys!

          The camp you guys recommended is great!

          We didn't set the world on fire but we caught fish. It is always fun to go to new places and figure out the bite. I think that a guy learns more on tough trips than on ones where they bite anything and everything you drop down the hole. We will definitely be heading back to that area again!




            • BSS TRKR
              BSS TRKR commented
              Editing a comment
              Nice bass! and I did not know they had Redears up there!!

            • swoab47
              swoab47 commented
              Editing a comment

            • randall3
              randall3 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thats a bluegill fellas. A nice one too!

            I'm hoping to take a trip up there in February or so. I've been up with the boat a few times but never there for ice fishing.


              Made another trip up to the IGL's last weekend. It was really cool to see all of the NAIFC Tournament guys buzzing around and visiting with some of them.

              The bite was definitely better than it was back in December, and I figured some more stuff out.




                  Good for you! I've always thought those pumpkinseeds, out of that blue water, were some of the prettiest fish I've ever seen.