John Muldoon

John Muldoon owns www.myfishingpals.com, a website for anything that has to do with Minnesota fishing. The site includes fishing reports, a forum, lake maps and DNR information, as well as a comprehensive directory of resources, tournaments, fishing guides, bait shops and resorts.

Posts about Fishing

Trout Fishing in Walleye Country

Posted by: John Muldoon Updated: July 2, 2009 - 6:17 AM
Here in north-central Minnesota when the subject of fishing comes up it usually centers on the walleye our state fish. When one thinks of trout we tend to think of the north shore or the trout streams of southeast Minnesota or even the blue ribbon waters of our western states. But we have some excellent trout fishing right here in north-central Minnesota in the heart of walleye country in a number of lakes that are stocked annually by the DNR and in several streams located throughout the region. Trout are stocked in both designated trout lakes that are managed specifically for trout and into lakes that are managed for other species as well. It is important to read the regulations before fishing because live minnows are not allowed when fishing designated stream trout lakes in addition to a trout stamp being needed when fishing designated stream trout lakes or whenever in passion of trout. Trout taken from the clear cold waters of these stocked stream trout lakes are excellent table fare and a downright blast to catch and it’s easy for the young fisherman to enjoy as well.

Getting Started
It is relatively simple to find the closet lakes in your area stocked with trout by going to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources web page at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html. Once here click on the lake finder tab and click the stocking report species button and scroll down and click on trout and then click generate report. This will give you the counties where lakes and streams that have been stocked with trout by the DNR. From here you can identify those that you may want to try.

Techniques
You can use a number of methods to fish for trout from simply anchoring and using bait, trolling with long lines and small lures to using downriggers with flashers and small artificial lures. For the most part an angler doesn’t need to run out and purchase several hundred dollars of new equipment to pursue trout here in the northland. To still fish for trout in these lakes an angler should have a light action rod spooled with light line of 4-pound test or less, my personal preference is a fluorocarbon line such as Berkley Vanish. This same outfit spooled with 6 or 8 pound test monofilament can also be used to long line for trout, simply tie on a small snap, swivel or use a rapala knot to attach a small spoon or plug and let out a 100 feet or so of line and troll around the lake concentrating on areas where you see fish rising or note suspended fish on your graph.

Rigs
When still fishing for trout off of the bottom first tie on a bobber stop with the bead above the stop towards the reel, this allows you to use a snap-on weight and adjust the length of your snell should you see fish higher off of the bottom. For bait there is a number of different artificial trout baits on the market you’ll just have to experiment to find what works best for you, we like Berkley’s power bait. At times depending on where the fish are in the water column we use a slip bobber rig experimenting with depth based on where we are seeing fish on the graph. During the spring and again in the fall when water temperatures are cooler one of my favorite methods is to long line small rapala lures behind the boat and troll at a speed of 1.5 to 2 miles per hour, many times you can target fish that you see rising or see suspended on your graph. When you catch a fish you will tend to catch more in the same area so work an area thoroughly before moving on. For downrigger fishing I most often use a set of smaller cowbells with an attached 2 – 3 foot monofilament leader to which I attach a small rapala minnow lure usually in a trout pattern and troll about 2 miles per hour.

Location
Trout are a cold-water fish and therefore water temperature many times will dictate location along with food sources. As a general rule of thumb in spring and fall the fish will tend to be shallower while moving deeper during the summer. On some of our bigger stream trout lakes fish seem to suspend quite often and the use of a graph to identify the location of fish helps immensely.

So if your looking for a new challenge this summer give trout fishing a try I think you’ll enjoy it.

Doug Harthan
Front 20 Outfitters, LLC
Web site: www.front20outfitters.com

Find this article and many more on
Minnesota Fishing with My Fishing Pals

Fishing contest bill PASSES

Posted by: John Muldoon Updated: May 20, 2009 - 7:03 AM

If signed into law as passed, by 2010 we should see many changes in the Fishing Contest rules, with guidance and support from Senator Satveer Chaudhary, Representative David Dill and Representative Larry Howes both the House and Senate sent a new Game and Fish bill forward. The contest modifications came about through the actions of anglers, working together with Legislators for changes.  Fishing contests are an important part of angling in Minnesota, both economically and recreationally. Lead by an alliance of anglers active in the Northerns Inc, the Minnesota Bass Federation Nation, Muskie anglers and bow fishing groups; they spent hundreds of hours lobbying for change. As a result of this the rules have been relaxed and the fee’s reduced. Now it’s up to the contest/tournament anglers to conduct themselves ethically and professionally at public accesses and on the water.

 

So what will be different?

 

The contest application will be available on-line, thus streamlining the process and creating a Web page listing for all the contests Statewide.

 

A best practices certification program for fishing contest organizers will be developed by the DNR to ensure the proper handling and release of fish. Angling groups will be invited to help develop these practices.

 

Who will be required to obtain a permit will change. What’s new:  Events with fewer then 25 boats or 150 ice fishing contestants will be exempt or if the contest is limited to rough fish; or the total prize value is $500 or less. Much of the old language of who is also exempt stays the same.

 

I expect the new electronic web permit system will be similar to Wisconsin’s and a series of questions will be asked, to determine who needs a permit.
   

The Charitable exemption has been removed. But all the contest fees have been cut in half. The permit fee for any individual contest may not exceed the following amounts:
$60 for an open water contest not exceeding  50 boats and without off-site weigh-in;
$200 for an open water contest with more than  50 boats and without off-site weigh-in;
$250 for an open water contest not exceeding  50 boats  with off-site weigh-in;
$500 for an open water contest with more than  50 boats with off-site weigh-in;

$120 for an ice fishing contest with more than 150 participants.

 

And finally The commissioner may allow for  live release weigh-ins at public accesses.

 

This new legislation does not change or replace all of the other existing contest/permit regulations. Everything else stays the same. DNR Fisheries has worked very hard to make the permitting process fair and reasonable. These new changes should assist them in continuing this practice.

 

We want to thank everyone who helped in this effort. Those who made phone calls, sent emails made contacts and spread the word. Now is the time to reconnect with your legislator and thank them for their efforts and support. Many anglers contributed to making these changes. I’d like to personally thank Brian Petschl Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association, Rob Carper Northerns Inc. , Peter Perovich and Paul Perovich Minnesota Bass Federation Nation, Muskie anglers John Underhill, Shawn Kellet and Rob Kimm and John Schneider Mn Sportfishing Congress. Many more made contributions, thanks to all. 

 

The 2009 Game and Fish bill also created night-time bowfishing, free licenses for individuals over age 90. Creates a new 48 inch Muskie length limit on many lakes, a non-resident spearing license, and many more license/shelter fee changes.

 

Hunting rules and regulations also received changes and additions, one of the most significant is the new uncased firearm/bow law, which allows for unloaded guns to be transported uncased during hunting season. This new rule makes quite a bit of sense to hunters and the credit goes to MOHA for their work on this.  

More discussion on this bill can be found here...

Minnesota Fishing Forums 

WebDude
Minnesota Fishing with My Fishing Pals

Minnesota Fishermen Take a Critical Look at PETA

Posted by: John Muldoon Updated: May 5, 2009 - 2:19 PM
On a local Minnesota fishing website, many fishermen are expressing their outrage at PETA’s aggressive anti-fishing campaign. In response to recent posts on My Fishing Pals' message forum ( www.myfishingpals.com ), anglers from across Minnesota are showing a united front against the efforts of PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights groups are aggressively attempting to inhibit all hunting and fishing in Minnesota and other states. These groups are intently focusing their attack on sport fishing, a traditional Minnesota pastime. PETA's message is that recreational anglers cause extreme and needless pain to fish and bait. Their agenda is to heighten the public's awareness to the killing of any fish or animal. In addition, they desire to promote animal rights at the grassroots level, spreading awareness in communities and making sure their message is visible and heard.

To spread their animal rights agenda on a public fishing forum, though, is a slap in the face to all who enjoy hunting and fishing, especially in a state like Minnesota. Known as the “land of 10,000 lakes,” Minnesota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the nation and these traditions are considered Minnesota’s heritage, recreation, and a vital part of the State’s economy. Regular members of the forum are expressing their rights to hunt and fish and the positive role they play in wildlife management. They are telling PETA to “…go home, we don’t want you here.”

My Fishing Pals ( www.myfishingpals.com ) originated in 2003 as a hobby-fishing site that welcomes Minnesota fishermen to share fishing reports, information, and other items related to fishing. In 2005 a controversial forum was created on the site so that Minnesota fishermen could address fishing and hunting issues. These controversial forums have become an avenue for hunters and fishermen to voice their opinions and concerns and, at times, defend traditional Minnesota values.

Hag Creek Story

Posted by: John Muldoon Updated: April 30, 2009 - 9:09 PM

In my early 20's, I lived in Duluth and had a job that required I work a split shift. I would go to work at 7 am and work 'til 11 am, then my second shift would start at 6 pm. That was a seven hour break every day. Since I was single at the time, I thought what better way to spend this long lunch break than to go fishing! Especially Minnesota Fishing!

I did not own a boat, so I was rather limited as to where I could go. There was this one spot I found, however, that was accessable by vehicle and pretty much vacated at that time of the day. It was a dirt road that ran between two bays on Island Lake. You could park and fish pretty much anywhere along the road on either side. The only other people that fished out there at that time of day were some of the locals. Being it was less then a half hour from where I lived, I started to spend almost every day there, even weekends as I became more proficient at the art of angling.

Now this was a time in my life when I was pretty green when it came to fishing. I preferred to fish alone because it always took a long time for me to tie a line or bait a hook. I didn't want anyone else to see my lack of experience. It wasn't that I hadn't fished before, just that it was relatively new to me.

Oh I had fished with friends and such as most young kids do, but I rarely caught anything worth mentioning. This new job with the wierd hours made fishing more often a possibility, and the more I went to Hag Creek, the more I started to enjoy the sport.

Along the dirt road was a telephone pole that had wire strung about thirty to forty feet above the ground. Kind of funny because there were hundreds of lures, sinkers, hooks, and line that were caught up in the wire. Must have been pretty bad casters in the neighborhood, I thought, and me not being much better.

I got there around noon one day, and the only other person fishing besides me, was an old farmer that I had seen there before. On the way, I had picked up some new fangled live bait called "Golden Shiners" and I was going to see if they would work on the mid-day Northerns that usually swam around shore and through the current of a bridge that happened across the road. They were expensive, but what the heck.

I got my stuff out of my truck and grabbed the minnow bucket and walked to the edge of the water. I reached in and pulled out a shiner about seven inches long and started to bait my hook.

The old guy, who was about twenty feet down the shoreline, picked up his rod from the "y" stick he had driven into the ground and started to reel in. He looked at the new bait I had and then inspected the big sucker he had dangling from his line.

"What ya got there?" he asked, making an expert and smooth cast out into the lake.

"Golden Shiners," I told him. I had never seen shiners before and I don't think he ever had either. People here usually used suckers or fatheads.

He kept glancing at me out of the corner of his eye while he was fishing, and to tell you the truth, he made me a little nervous. He was much older than I and was obviously much more experienced.

He looked up at the line of the telephone pole that had all the tackle tangled to it and said "Boy, the water sure musta been high that day," and gave a little chuckle. It must have been a local joke but it actually made me feel a bit more comfortable with him. At least there was no critisim of my ability involved. I believe it was his way of trying to start a conversation.

I finished baiting up and threw a cast with line and bobber out into the lake. No sooner had the bobber hit the water, then it disappeared underneath. I thought, oh boy, I am not very good at this. I had obviously rigged my setup all wrong or maybe the shiner had pulled the bobber under. It was a pretty big minnow after all. So I started to reel in to see what the problem was.

"Whatchya got goin' there?", the old guy asked. I was getting ready for him to make some smart remark and tell me I was doing it all wrong.

"I don't know." I replied.

As I was reeling in, there was no drag whatsoever that I could feel. No bottom. No nothing. But where the line disappeared into the water, a large wave was coming in towards us at the shore. I thought this rather odd since there was no wind and the water was like glass.

I kept reeling in and the wave kept getting closer with still no feeling the bottom. When the wave got about twenty feet from shore, all heck broke loose. The wave stopped and suddenly the drag of my reel started to scream. I grabbed my drag setting and tightened it, but I couldn't get the line to stop spooling out.

By the time it took to try to tighten the drag again, it was all over. The line had spooled to the end which had been tied to the reel. The rod was snapped in half with two broke eylets off the tip. And my reel? Well, I swear, the reel was smoking! That wave must of been some huge fish pushing the water around.

The old guy next to me started laughing, slapping his knee. "that musta been Bertha," he said. I was embarrassed and I was sure the guy was laughing at me. Probably the way I was rigged or something.

"Bertha?" I asked, pretty much flustered and eying my busted rod.

"Yeah," he said, "we've been tryin' to catch her for the last couple years. She's a bigin'."

"But I had twelve pound test on here," I said holding up my rod and smoldering reel, "How big is that fish?" Maybe the rigging was okay after all, at least I hoped.

"Well," he said, spitting some tobacco into the lake, "I've seen ducks disappear off the surface. Somethin' just draggin' 'em down. I never got a good look at 'er, but we've been out here tryin' for a long time now to catch 'er."

I reflected on what he said, then looked at my rod and started getting bummed out because my fishing was over for the day. The old farmer looked at me and grinned, turned and headed for his truck.

"Don't worry," he said. "I got a rod and some line in the truck you can use."

I realized at that point that he wasn't laughing at me at all. It wasn't my inexperience or clumsiness he found humorous. It was just the situation. It was the fact that Bertha had screwed up another fisherman and got away. Something, I had found out later, that had happened to quite a few locals from the area.

In fact, it appeared this was the beginning of a friendship. Maybe it was because we had shared a unique experience together. Maybe it was because it might have happened to him before. Maybe it was because he knew I was rather green. Maybe it was just the fact that we both liked fishing. It didn't really matter anyway. I knew that this was the beginning of some great times on Hag Creek and I would be spending a lot of time out here.

I was grateful as he handed me his spare rod and spool of Stren. I sat down on the edge of the lake and started to put my temporary rod and reel together. The old guy still had a big grin on his face. He picked up his rod out of the "y" stick and wiggled it a little bit and started to reel it in.

"By the way," he said, looking out over the water still kind of looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

"Yeah?" I replied, busily winding on new line.

"You wouldn't happen to mind if I borrowed one of them there shiners, would you?"

WebDude
Minnesota Fishing with My Fishing Pals
 

Hag Creek Story

Posted by: John Muldoon Updated: April 30, 2009 - 9:09 PM

In my early 20's, I lived in Duluth and had a job that required I work a split shift. I would go to work at 7 am and work 'til 11 am, then my second shift would start at 6 pm. That was a seven hour break every day. Since I was single at the time, I thought what better way to spend this long lunch break than to go fishing! Especially Minnesota Fishing!

I did not own a boat, so I was rather limited as to where I could go. There was this one spot I found, however, that was accessable by vehicle and pretty much vacated at that time of the day. It was a dirt road that ran between two bays on Island Lake. You could park and fish pretty much anywhere along the road on either side. The only other people that fished out there at that time of day were some of the locals. Being it was less then a half hour from where I lived, I started to spend almost every day there, even weekends as I became more proficient at the art of angling.

Now this was a time in my life when I was pretty green when it came to fishing. I preferred to fish alone because it always took a long time for me to tie a line or bait a hook. I didn't want anyone else to see my lack of experience. It wasn't that I hadn't fished before, just that it was relatively new to me.

Oh I had fished with friends and such as most young kids do, but I rarely caught anything worth mentioning. This new job with the wierd hours made fishing more often a possibility, and the more I went to Hag Creek, the more I started to enjoy the sport.

Along the dirt road was a telephone pole that had wire strung about thirty to forty feet above the ground. Kind of funny because there were hundreds of lures, sinkers, hooks, and line that were caught up in the wire. Must have been pretty bad casters in the neighborhood, I thought, and me not being much better.

I got there around noon one day, and the only other person fishing besides me, was an old farmer that I had seen there before. On the way, I had picked up some new fangled live bait called "Golden Shiners" and I was going to see if they would work on the mid-day Northerns that usually swam around shore and through the current of a bridge that happened across the road. They were expensive, but what the heck.

I got my stuff out of my truck and grabbed the minnow bucket and walked to the edge of the water. I reached in and pulled out a shiner about seven inches long and started to bait my hook.

The old guy, who was about twenty feet down the shoreline, picked up his rod from the "y" stick he had driven into the ground and started to reel in. He looked at the new bait I had and then inspected the big sucker he had dangling from his line.

"What ya got there?" he asked, making an expert and smooth cast out into the lake.

"Golden Shiners," I told him. I had never seen shiners before and I don't think he ever had either. People here usually used suckers or fatheads.

He kept glancing at me out of the corner of his eye while he was fishing, and to tell you the truth, he made me a little nervous. He was much older than I and was obviously much more experienced.

He looked up at the line of the telephone pole that had all the tackle tangled to it and said "Boy, the water sure musta been high that day," and gave a little chuckle. It must have been a local joke but it actually made me feel a bit more comfortable with him. At least there was no critisim of my ability involved. I believe it was his way of trying to start a conversation.

I finished baiting up and threw a cast with line and bobber out into the lake. No sooner had the bobber hit the water, then it disappeared underneath. I thought, oh boy, I am not very good at this. I had obviously rigged my setup all wrong or maybe the shiner had pulled the bobber under. It was a pretty big minnow after all. So I started to reel in to see what the problem was.

"Whatchya got goin' there?", the old guy asked. I was getting ready for him to make some smart remark and tell me I was doing it all wrong.

"I don't know." I replied.

As I was reeling in, there was no drag whatsoever that I could feel. No bottom. No nothing. But where the line disappeared into the water, a large wave was coming in towards us at the shore. I thought this rather odd since there was no wind and the water was like glass.

I kept reeling in and the wave kept getting closer with still no feeling the bottom. When the wave got about twenty feet from shore, all heck broke loose. The wave stopped and suddenly the drag of my reel started to scream. I grabbed my drag setting and tightened it, but I couldn't get the line to stop spooling out.

By the time it took to try to tighten the drag again, it was all over. The line had spooled to the end which had been tied to the reel. The rod was snapped in half with two broke eylets off the tip. And my reel? Well, I swear, the reel was smoking! That wave must of been some huge fish pushing the water around.

The old guy next to me started laughing, slapping his knee. "that musta been Bertha," he said. I was embarrassed and I was sure the guy was laughing at me. Probably the way I was rigged or something.

"Bertha?" I asked, pretty much flustered and eying my busted rod.

"Yeah," he said, "we've been tryin' to catch her for the last couple years. She's a bigin'."

"But I had twelve pound test on here," I said holding up my rod and smoldering reel, "How big is that fish?" Maybe the rigging was okay after all, at least I hoped.

"Well," he said, spitting some tobacco into the lake, "I've seen ducks disappear off the surface. Somethin' just draggin' 'em down. I never got a good look at 'er, but we've been out here tryin' for a long time now to catch 'er."

I reflected on what he said, then looked at my rod and started getting bummed out because my fishing was over for the day. The old farmer looked at me and grinned, turned and headed for his truck.

"Don't worry," he said. "I got a rod and some line in the truck you can use."

I realized at that point that he wasn't laughing at me at all. It wasn't my inexperience or clumsiness he found humorous. It was just the situation. It was the fact that Bertha had screwed up another fisherman and got away. Something, I had found out later, that had happened to quite a few locals from the area.

In fact, it appeared this was the beginning of a friendship. Maybe it was because we had shared a unique experience together. Maybe it was because it might have happened to him before. Maybe it was because he knew I was rather green. Maybe it was just the fact that we both liked fishing. It didn't really matter anyway. I knew that this was the beginning of some great times on Hag Creek and I would be spending a lot of time out here.

I was grateful as he handed me his spare rod and spool of Stren. I sat down on the edge of the lake and started to put my temporary rod and reel together. The old guy still had a big grin on his face. He picked up his rod out of the "y" stick and wiggled it a little bit and started to reel it in.

"By the way," he said, looking out over the water still kind of looking at me out of the corner of his eye.

"Yeah?" I replied, busily winding on new line.

"You wouldn't happen to mind if I borrowed one of them there shiners, would you?"

WebDude
Minnesota Fishing with My Fishing Pals
 

      

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