The annual Muskie Expo runs today, Friday, April 4, through Sunday, April 6, at the Ganglehoff Center on the campus of Concordia University, on the southwest corner of Hamline and Marshall in St. Paul.
Show hours on April 4, are 2-9 p.m. Hours Saturday are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. And Sunday, the show runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is $10.00. Weekend passes are $17.00 (3 days). And children 12 and under are admitted free.
Friday seminar speakers include Josh Borovsky, Larry Dahlberg and Luke Ronnestrand.
Speakers on Saturday are Bob Mehsikomer, Rich Reinert, Steve Worral and Gregg Thomas.
And Sunday, Joe Peterson and Duff Thury, Bob Benson and Dustin Carlson and Mike Keyes will speak.
Anglers can also prepare their reels for the upcoming season at the Expo. Shimano will be offering its Reel Maintenance Clinics Friday at 2:30, 5 and 7; Saturday at 11a.m., 3 and 5, and individual support until 1 p.m. Sunday. Bring a reel to the show and learn proper cleaning tips.
More information is at www.minnesotamuskieexpo.com
Norway is a land of midnight sun — and big fish.
Marco Liebenow, a German angler, recently caught a halibut off the Norway coast that weighed 513 pounds, according to a report in Outdoor Hub, an online aggregator of hunting, fishing, shooting and related news.
Liebenow fought the fish for nearly 90 minutes from his small boat near Kjollefjord, Norway, according to The Daily Mail newspaper.
It's possible the big halibut will displace the previous rod-and-reel record of 419 pounds held for Atlantic halibut.
Four men were needed to attach a sling around the fish’s tail and tow it to shore. There, the anglers employed a crane to haul the halibut out of the water. The meat was distributed among the anglers and donated to charity.
In May, another German angler fishing in Norwegian waters also made a potential world record catch. Michael Eisele’s staggering 103-pound cod outweighed the previous record by five pounds.
Cloquet artist Stuart Nelson’s painting of a rainbow trout rising to mayfly has won the DNR's 2014 Trout Stamp.
The painting was one of 13 submissions.
Nelson also won the 1999 trout stamp contest with a painting of a brook trout but hadn't’t submitted an entry since.
Other finalists were: Stephen Hamrik of Lakeville, second place; Nicholas Markell of Hugo, third place; and Timothy Turenne of Richfield, fourth place.
The five judges this year were Amy Beyer, DNR creative services graphic designer; Ron Anderson, Outdoor News graphic designer; Bruce Vondracek, University of Minnesota professor; Mark Johnson, Twin Cities Trout Unlimited Chapter president; and Davin Brandt, director of Minnesota Steelheader.
The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the artist retains the right to reproduce the work
These species are eligible for the 2015 stamp: brook, brown, splake and lake trout, coho, pink, Chinook and Atlantic salmon.
The summer rains have stopped, at least for a while, and area river levels are falling.
Good fishing should follow.
Here are a couple of suggestions to try for river smallmouth bass.
• The Mississippi River north of the Twin Cities. The nearest good stretch might be between Monticello and Elk River. A canoe or kayak will get you downstream safely, also a john boat, provided you're willing to take an occasional nick on your outboard's skeg and perhaps prop. Mepps spinners are a must, and throw in various small crankbaits, including surface baits you can twitch on top as you retrieve them after casting them toward shore. Jigs with rubber legs — Ugly Bugs work great — will produce a lot of fish, as will, for fly anglers, poppers.
• The Upper St. Croix, paddling down to Grantsburg, Wis., (as in the photo above) from any number of upriver launch sites. If you have a canoe, shuttle service is available from Wild River Outfitters in Grantsburg. If you don' t have a canoe, Wild River will rent one to you. Fly fishing can be very productive along this stretch of the river, as can spin fishing (rigged the same way as described above). The possibility of picking up a northern, walleye and even muskie also exists.
Minnesota fishing license sales remain significantly down from recent years, due, most likely, to the inclement weather this spring and early summer.
Sales numbers tallied recently by the Department of Natural Resources show 591,864 licenses purchased this year, compared to 713,744 last year and 679,276 in 2011.
The decline from a year ago is about 17 percent — representing a loss to date of about $2.7 million in revenue to the DNR.
Sales this summer are off 13 percent from 2011.
It’s possible license sales will pick up as the summer progresses, depending on weather.
Still, it remains true that many Minnesotans only fish on opening weekend.