How was your 2016 fishing season? Fair? Inconsistent? Average? A lot of factors contributed to success, or lack of. A Spring bite on walleyes was short, the midsummer bite for walleyes never really got going. Fall came around, area lakes Potato and Fish Hook always produced consistent fall action on walleyes in the past. This season, a good bite that happened but short in duration. Long, a lake known as a go to lake for fall walleyes, produced outstanding October fishing success.
If the packed-house attendance at the recent St. Paul Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show a few weeks ago is any indicator, ice fishing has to be the fastest-growing segment of the fishing recreation industry. The show, held the first weekend of December every year at the St. Paul River Centre, features the latest in gear, especially for ice-fishing enthusiasts, along with the best in places to go and stay this winter.
The Minnesota Department of Resources organized five, citizen-agency fish species workgroups. One of the goals for the group is to provide a conduit for transfer of information between citizens and the agency.
Boats are being put away. The unseasonably warm temperatures are welcome, but will soon come to an end. The hard water season is just around the corner. Anglers are doing their homework now to guarantee best crappie fishing at first safe ice. More years ago than I care to admit, I did research for a book titled "Crappie Wisdom." My open water season was spent fishing different northern Minnesota lakes, staying on top of the crappie movements, and within them comparing my notes with other anglers.
On a recent fall fishing trip, my partner admitted a jig and a rainbow minnow wasn't his presentation of choice nor was he particularly confident with it. Instead, he wanted to grab one of my larger creek chub minnows out of the minnow bucket to place on a live bait rig instead. The jig and a minnow combination I was using paled in size compared to the minnow selected, but it did produce the only walleyes up until that time. It was not long before my partner was into a walleye, then another and yet another. Was it the live bait rig or was it the larger minnow on the live bait rig, or both?
Bob Stulich of the Two Inlets area loves crappie fishing. While most area anglers focus on the pursuit for walleyes, smallmouth or big pike and musky, for Stulich it's fall crappie fishing.
October holds the best fishing of the season for all game fish. In my opinion, it's a prime time for catching quantity and quality of freshwater game fish. Lakes transition from summer warmer water temperatures of 70 degrees to cooler water with temps in the 50s. Game fish become easier to find this time of year. They are active, eager to take anglers' offerings, then actually move out of the weed beds and edges looking for food into deeper water and easier for anglers to catch.
Stable weather is very important to fishing success, but that’s not always the situation. July is vacation time, a week looked forward to for months. If on a fishing vacation, it can be frustrating to be on shore when severe weather rolls through the area. Rainfall run off will bring large amounts of food and nutrients into the lake.
Friends are those special people in our lives who leave a permanent mark. Dave Speral was one of those friends. Together we shared a love of the outdoors on many a hunting and fishing escapade. That is, if we weren’t fishing, getting ready to go fishing, tying jigs, rigging boats and scouring sporting goods stores for the latest and greatest in fishing tackle and equipment.
Weeks remain before the opening day of the Minnesota walleye season. Anglers have a lot of time to pursue one of the state’s top-rated fish: the crappie.