Known far and wide as a great fishing state, Minnesota offers angling opportunities unknown virtually anywhere in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Trout fishing in the southeast. Catfishing (and fishing for many other species, including large- and smallmouth bass and walleyes) on the Mississippi River, walleye fishing on Leech, Winnie, Mille Lacs, Lake of the Woods and Upper Red, among other lakes, and 'looper fishing along Lake Superior shores, as well as wilderness fishing in the boundary waters.
Now add to that catch and release sturgeon fishing, which is enjoying a rebirth headquartered in Baudette, on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods.The recent completion of the Third Annual Sportsmen's Lodge North Star Catch and Release Sturgeon Classic proves the point. Again this year, boats and entries were plentiful, and fishing success was good.
Placing first, with a 60-inch sturgeon, was Kris Moen of Minneapolis. Placing second was Bill Sandy of Lake of the Woods, with a 54-incher. Tying Sandy with a 54-incher of his own was Steve Stoskopf of Warroad.
The great thing about sturgeon fishing — in addition to the size of the fish, of course — is the time of year (late April, first part of May) it occurs. It precedes the walleye and northern pike seasons, and complements turkey hunting and steelhead fishing.