By Chris Schultz
April 16, 2007
Take a kid fishing and pass the tradition
From the DNR
Fishing is a perfect way to relax, share memories and connect with family or friends, especially kids. And people don’t have to be an expert angler to have a fun, successful fishing trip.
With information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, new anglers can find places to fish and snag a few tips to make the trip fun.
“Most kids and adults too would love to go fishing if someone would take them,” said Ron Payer, DNR fisheries section chief. “Avid anglers and beginners alike can be that person. Introduce someone an adult or child to the sport and start a tradition.”
Finding a place to fish is easy. Check out www.dnr.state.mn.us. Click on the fishing button and then lake finder to catch all sorts of inside information.
Or visit www.exploreminnesota.com to find great places to stay, play and fish.
Finally, visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation Web site at www.rbff.org. Click on Take Me Fishing to hook great tips to make the trip a success.
Planning on fishing with a young person?
Here are a few tips to get started.
• Keep it simple. A cane pole, live bait or canned corn, bobber, split shot and tiny hook make the perfect kid’s fishing rig.
• Look for action. Walleye, northern pike or smallmouth bass might be your preferred catch, but to a kid, any fish is a trophy. Panfish are often the most cooperative and can usually be found near shore.
• Distractions. Pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookies, or just a bag of crunchy granola.
A pair of binoculars, bird books, or even a bucket of minnows can delay the sound of “I wanna go home” for hours.
• Safety. Wear a lifejacket. Kids are great imitators if they see adults wearing a lifejacket, they’ll wear theirs.
Be sure to pack Band-Aids, pliers, a handkerchief, sunscreen, and raingear.
• Have fun. At its heart, fishing is about memories. So make them. Be willing to stop and turn over rocks, feed the ducks, or just wander around looking for frogs, it doesn’t matter. Wonderful memories will be formed when people make fishing fun.
Minnesota’s walleye and northern pike opener is Saturday, May 12.
The bass season opens Saturday, May 26 for most of the state, and muskellunge become legal Saturday, June 2.
Seasons are already open for crappie and sunfish.
Firearms safety classes start today (Monday)
Winsted Sportsmen’s Club will offer firearm safety classes starting today, April 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the basement of Distinctive Dental Services, Winsted.
This is a three- or four-week class.
Individuals must be at least 11 years old to receive their certificate on their 12th birthday.
Cost is $10. For more information, contact Steve Fiecke at (320) 485-2434.
Winsted lakeshore clean-up is set for May 5
Winsted Lake Watershed Association will host a lakeshore cleanup day Saturday, May 5 beginning at 9 a.m. at Mill Reserve Park, Winsted.
Assistance from youth groups is welcome. Dress appropriately.
For more information, call Bev at (320) 485-4327.
LP Sportsmen’s Club kicks off league shooting Wed.
With five new automatic traps, new trap houses, and a recently renovated clubhouse, the Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club will begin league shooting beginning Wednesday, April 18.
Year-end fishing rummage sale in Medina
Calm Corp. is having a first-time-ever event at their warehouse/offices in Medina Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28.
All fishing enthusiasts are encouraged to join Calm Corp. as they hold a year-end rummage sale.
Everyone is welcome as Calm Corp. will be offering discount prices on ice fishing gear, old model shelters, new shelters, blue suits, light house tents, ice fishing tables, t-shirts, hats, and Green Bay Packers Model Fish Trap Pros.
The Calm Corp. warehouse is located at 600 Clydesdale Trail in Medina.
The times for the event are from noon to 8 p.m. April 27, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28.
Dave Genz will be available from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 28 to talk about ice fishing and sign autographs.
Wright County/West Metro Whitetails present forum on funding bill
A forum will be presented by Garry Leaf and Kirk Schnickter on the 2007 Outdoor Dedicated Funding bill currently in the Legislature.
This will take place at the Buffalo American Legion Tuesday, April 17 starting at 8:00 p.m.
If you care about what will happen with your dollars put towards outdoor activities, you need to attend this forum.
Leaf and Schnickter both were instrumental in forming ‘Sportsmen for Change’ and both are very active in several conservation organizations based in Minnesota and nationally.
This organization has been at the forefront of this issue and other issues in the Minnesota Legislature.
There is no charge for attending this forum.
Fishing opener for MN/South Dakota border waters is set
From the DNR
The passing of an expedited emergency rule has allowed the 2007 fishing season opener for Minnesota-South Dakota border waters to be set.
The border waters season opener for walleye, northern pike, and largemouth bass will be Saturday, April 21, one week earlier than previous years.
The emergency rule was needed to coincide with the date South Dakota has listed in their Fishing Regulations Handbook.
The Minnesota Legislature is planning to pass a permanent rule later this year.
Waters that will be open include Big Stone Lake in Big Stone County, Hendricks Lake in Lincoln County, Lake Traverse and Mud Lake in Traverse County, Bois de Sioux River to the North Dakota border, and the Mustinka River from the mouth to the Minnesota State Highway 117 bridge.
Anglers need to be aware of the walleye special regulations that exists on the border waters.
It consists of a walleye daily and possession limit of four, with only one allowed over 20 inches.
Conservation officer tales April 2007
From the DNR
• Behavorial modification
CO Randy Hanzal (Brookston) stopped two snowmobilers committing several violations.
The officer gave them a break and issued only one citation, believing they would control their behavior.
An hour later, the two were again observed speeding, and a chase ensued.
After several miles, one of the snowmobiles threw a belt and the operator was apprehended.
The two again asked for mercy from the officer, saying they couldn’t afford another ticket.
• Call of the wild
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received a call from an individual whose cat left a “surprise” for her.
The cat had caught and killed a weasel and left it on her bedroom floor.
• What’s in your wallet
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) was leaving for work and found a snowmobiler stuck in the ditch at the end of the driveway.
The snowmobile did not have registration. While the owner was fumbling through his wallet for his ID, a folded-up piece of paper fell out. Kuske recognized it as a DNR ticket.
Upon closer inspection, it was a ticket for snowmobile registration issued by CO Thesing a week prior.
Failing to learn his lesson, the man was issued another ticket for operating an unregistered snowmobile.
• They knew they were guilty
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) was working with CO Rob Haberman (St. Cloud) when they encountered two ATVs being driven on a county road.
Citations were issued and the ATVs were sent on their way.
Four hours later and 10 miles away, the same group was found driving on another county road.
Both men hung their heads and realized they were wrong.
• Conduct unbecoming
While checking anglers on Garfield Lake, CO Neil Freborg (Lake George) watched traffic going to and coming from the weekly ice races.
He saw a pickup moving toward shore at a high rate of speed, sliding from side-to-side on the icy road.
The pickup got past the first car it met, but went plowing into a snowdrift when it met a second vehicle.
The pickup driver tried repeatedly to get out of the drift. He finally gave up, got out of his truck, and sheepishly approached the officer’s truck, asking for help in getting out.
After a short discussion regarding his driving conduct, Officer Freborg pulled him out and sent him on his way with some fatherly advice.
• One person, 15 violations
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reported a snowmobiler probably made DNR history with the most violations.
A group of eight snowmobiles were checked on a trail and one person claimed to owning all eight of them, even though seven of them had expired registration and none of them had state trail stickers, making a total of 15 violations for one person.
• Furious father has to be restrained from going after son
CO Brad Schultz (Center City) was working an area trail when he spoke with a dad and his young son who were out for an afternoon ride.
A short time later, the officer clocked a sled at 90 mph coming from the direction the father and son team had traveled.
The sled was stopped. Moments later the dad returned to the officer’s location, jumped off his sled and approached the son, all the while shouting at him about blowing past them at “100 miles per hour.”
The officer had to physically restrain the father from going after the son.
The son made the comment, “I always try to ride respectfully.” He also claimed not to know there was a 50 mph speed limit on the trail.
• And then a brief wrestling matched ensued
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) encountered an angler who was reluctant to show the officer the fish that were in his bucket.
The angler made a dash into his fish house in an attempt to dump the fish back down the hole.
A brief wrestling match ensued and Muyres victoriously came up with an 11-inch illegal walleye.
The angler was subsequently arrested for obstruction, failure to submit to inspection and possession of walleye out of season.
• Boat marker
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) came across a boater who had used a black marker to write in “2008” on his 2006 registration number.
• CO captures big, hairy spider
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) responded to a call involving a tarantula that an individual released into the wild.
Pril found the spider in a big cardboard box at a National Wildlife Refuge in Dakota County.
The spider was rescued and the previous owner was cited for littering.
• What’s this bird’s story?
Officer Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) was patrolling in the Thief River Falls area when he noticed a snowmobile approaching in the ditch.
As the machine passed he noted an expired registration, but what was more concerning was the large owl stuffed behind the snowmobile’s windshield!
After stopping the individual, the operator told Woinarowicz he had discovered the owl on the roadway.
The man went on to explain he thought the bird was a ruffed grouse, and was bringing it to show a relative.
The story of mistaken identity was even less believable after Woinarowicz ran a field sobriety test indicating the subject was too intoxicated to operate a snowmobile.
The subject was arrested for snowmobiling while intoxicated and a subsequent blood alcohol test revealed a level over twice the legal operating limit.
• Poachers make it easy for officers
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) assisted the Kanabec Sheriff’s Office with the prosecution of two pheasant poachers.
The individuals decided to go for a drive while drunk, shoot through an open vehicle window at a pheasant that was near the road, and then attempt to hide the shotgun in a snow bank just before officers arrived.
The poachers made things a little easier for officers by driving into the ditch and getting stuck at the poaching site.
One of the poachers said, “We thought it would be nice to take the gravel road, see if maybe we could shoot supper or something, you know.”
The driver was arrested for DWI and citations for illegal transportation of firearms and taking pheasant out of season were issued.
• It’s illegal to release ‘bambi’ back to the wild
While CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) was on patrol she drove by a rural residence and noticed kids in their yard playing with a whitetail deer.
Kuske stopped to talk with the owners who said (while the deer was chewing on Kuske’s shirt) they had gotten the deer from a game farm and had raised it as a pet.
Now that the deer was getting big it was getting harder for them to care for it and they had tried to “release it to the wild” but it kept coming back.
Kuske informed them it is illegal to release a game farm deer to the wild.
One guess as to what they named the deer? Bambi, of course.
• I’ll tear up the check
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) checked a person on Sullivan Lake who bragged that fishing had been very good for him lately.
When the officer inquired as to what he was doing with all of his fish, the person stated he and his wife were eating quite a few and taking the last of the fish to an elderly couple in town.
The man even proudly displayed the check for $20 he received from the old couple for the fish.
Kuske explained giving someone fish and receiving money constitutes a sale, which is illegal on both ends.
Buying or selling wild game and fish is illegal.
Embarrassed, but with a frightful look on his face, the man explained he had no idea what he did was wrong and promptly tore up the check.
• Reach a little deeper into ‘that’ pocket
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) came across two anglers who decided shore fishing would be more enjoyable if marijuana were involved.
Wiebusch watched the two for nearly an hour, then checked for licenses.
After the license check, Wiebusch asked for the marijuana.
Reaching in his pockets, the individual stated he didn’t have any and didn’t know what the officer was talking about.
Knowing which pocket contained the marijuana, the officer suggested he reach a little deeper into “that” pocket.
The individual hung his head and enforcement action was taken.
• Smoke leads officers to ilegal burn on remote lake
While checking anglers on area lakes, CO/Pilot Al Buchert (Grand Rapids) and CO Marty Stage (Babbitt) noticed black smoke rising from a distant lakeshore.
Upon landing the aircraft on the lake, the officers took enforcement action for burning illegal materials including furniture, appliances and a computer.
An old TV on the rack of a four-wheeler was near the blaze.
• CO/pilot finds vehicle occupants a bit shaken, but safe
While flying over Lake Winnibigoshish, CO Pilot Don Murray (Grand Rapids) spotted a vehicle that had partially gone through the ice while trying to cross an ice ridge.
Murray quickly landed his aircraft on the lake to help. Fortunately, the occupants had gotten out safely but were a bit shaken by the ordeal.
• Wait until mom hears this
A 16-year-old was stopped on his ATV, after CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) followed him at a distance of only 20 feet with lights and siren on for quite some time.
The teen had altered the exhaust making it almost impossible to hear the siren.
He was also stopped because he was driving on a state highway, had no driver’s license and was driving on a “bicycle only” trail.
The mother was cited for allowing illegal operation.
• The temptation was just too much
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) finished up an investigation with charges of taking wild turkey out of season.
In this case, the poacher hit a wild turkey with his car and instead of calling the CO, went home to get a shotgun.
Evidently, the temptation was too powerful as the poacher went back to where he hit the turkey with his car and tried to get another.
• A $250 turkey dinner
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued a car-kill permit to an unlucky driver whose car was extensively damaged after hitting a turkey.
The driver said he was going to eat the turkey for dinner since it cost him his $250 insurance deductible.
• Worthy of applause
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) and CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) responded to a call of three deer having fallen through the ice on Kohlman Lake in Maplewood.
Upon arrival, two of the three deer had freed themselves.
Borrowing a canoe from a nearby homeowner, the officers battled ice and wind to successfully retrieve and revive the third deer before safely releasing it on shore.
• ATV operator realizes he can’t outrun DNR helicopter
DNR Chief Pilot Mike Trenholm flew a patrol with state conservation officers in Cass, Crow Wing and Aitkin counties checking areas closed to ATV use.
Several groups were discovered in the closed areas and ground officers made contacts with the violators.
It was discovered that one of the violators had his driving privileges canceled.
He told a conservation officer he was contemplating fleeing the scene, but when he turned around and saw the DNR helicopter hovering behind his group of ATVs, he decided running was pointless.
• In next week’s column, I’m going to share with you a great article from Jim Saric, Editor of Musky Hunter.
The article talks about the tremendous gap of kids entering the sport of fishing. The article was forwarded to me from local angler Heather Yellick.
It will be great follow up from the item about take a kid fishing in this week’s column.
• Canada geese are here in big numbers, and are already nesting.
• In the past few weeks I’ve seen a tremendous number of ducks in the area. Every thing from wood ducks to buffalo head.
• Because of cold, miserable weather the spring crappie bite has gotten off to a slow start.
However, with some warmer weather this week the activity should pickup fast.
Look for good action on Swan near the City of Silver Lake, Big Waverly, Lake Henry, Waconia, and the western bays of Lake Minnetonka.
• Put new line on your fishing reels, and don’t forget to purchase your new 2007 Minnesota angling license.
• The 2007 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Sat., May 12.
• Take a kid fishing; he or she will have fun and so will you.
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