(As told by dad, Dale Claridge)

“Will caught this big northern in the backwaters of the Vermillion River near Hastings using a Mepps spinner. We had been fishing from shore for a couple hours and catching a bunch of northerns when this big one hit right when it was starting to get dark and we were ready to pack up and leave. Good thing we stuck around. It put up quite a fight and made several runs before tiring out. After landing the lunker and taking a photo, we released it.”


Deanna Hohenstein, 75, of Balsam Lake, Wis., hadn’t fished in years since the family went after crappies at their cabin near Mankato — but recently she didn’t look rusty during her first walleye fishing trip ever to Lake of the Woods. “She caught a number of walleye over the weekend, but this 24-incher was her personal best for the trip,” reported her son, Keith Hohenstein. She released the fish.


Sami Hankinson, 8, of Edina, caught this 18-inch bass off a dock at Gull Lake. “She was very proud of her fish, and even more proud that she could hold it,” said her dad, Casey. “I was proud of the catch, but also proud that she put on her own leech to catch it.” She released it.

Trophy tales

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