Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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It might not be the prettiest lure on the market, but the "Trout-N-Pout" jigging spoon from Big-Nasty Tackle Co. in Pine River, Minn., definitely proved its mettle during a recent nighttime eelpout excursion on Cass Lake in northern Minnesota. Catching eelpout requires heavy jigs for pounding the bottom to attract the coldwater fish, and if the jig glows, all the better. The "Trout-N-Pout" meets both criteria. The spoons, which come in ⅝-, 1⅛- and 1⅜-ounce sizes (subject to availability), are available in green glow and blue glow colors.
Sauger fishing this winter on Lake of the Woods was on par with long-term averages, but walleye fishing lagged, preliminary results from a winter creel survey show. According to Tom Heinrich, large lake specialist for the Department of Natural Resources in Baudette, Minn., anglers kept about 270,000 pounds of saugers this winter, which is slightly higher than the 10-year average of 230,000 pounds. By comparison, anglers this winter kept an estimated 79,000 pounds of walleyes, Heinrich said, down from the 10-year average of 223,000 pounds.
Ask just about anyone who's had the opportunity, and they'll say there's something magical about stepping into a float plane for a fly-in fishing adventure into the wilds of northern Canada. Scenery, solitude—imagine having a lake to yourself—and the opportunity to catch fish by the dozens all are part of the attraction. So, too, is the mystique of the planes themselves—flying workhorses with names such as Beaver, Otter and Norseman—aircraft with rich, storied histories.
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Perch kept 1¾-pound minimum • 2 pounds, 2 ounces—Charles Croker, Devils Lake, Devils Lake. • 2 pounds, 1 ounce—Roy Rosier, Lexington, Minn., Devils Lake. • 1 pound, 13 ounces—Robert Hay, Crosby, N.D., Devils Lake. White bass kept 3-pound minimum • 3 pounds, 2 ounces—Gregory Kurtz, Minot, Devils Lake.
Lake of the Woods On the south end of the lake, most resorts have pulled fish houses off the ice for the year, and the fishing focus now shifts to open water on the Rainy River. The boat ramp at Nelson Park in Birchdale, Minn., and the Vidas Landing in Clementson, Minn., are clear of ice and open to boats of all sizes. As of Thursday, the Rainy River was open past the International Bridge in Baudette, Minn.—a full two weeks earlier than last year, when the river at the bridge opened March 31.
CASS LAKE, Minn.—The fish took off on a line-peeling run, and all Brian Jones could do was hang on and enjoy the ride. Welcome to the world of eelpout fishing. "Whoa, he didn't like that," Jones said with a laugh as the drag on his reel screamed, and his lightweight ice fishing rod bent to the handle. "That's one of the longest runs I've ever seen a pout take. That was sustained. I wonder how many feet of line he just pulled off. I bet it was 10-15 feet. "They just don't give up."
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1148; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Today:...
Lake of the Woods Tourism recently offered some tips for handling big fish that bear repeating as spring approaches, and opportunities for tangling with trophy-sized walleyes, northern pike and sturgeon increase.
The Red River Valley Catfish League marks its 15th season this spring, and organizers are planning a few changes in an effort to bolster participation and keep the league from folding. Rob Raymond, president of the Red River Valley Catfish Club, said members of the board and a handful of other interested anglers met Monday night to talk about ideas for getting the league back on track. Launched in 2002, the catfish league used to fill to its 25-team capacity for the Wednesday night fishing contests, prompting organizers to increase the number of permitted teams to 30.