December 8, 2022

Fishing date to remember

  • Monday, Sept. 12: Catch-and-release only for smallmouth bass begins, except in northeast Minnesota

First state catch-and-release records set

The first several catch-and-release state records have been set by anglers who’ve documented huge muskellunge, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish.

  • Muskie: 56-7/8 inches, caught June 25 by Andrew Slette of Hawley, in Pelican Lake, Otter Tail County
  • Lake sturgeon: 62 7/8 inches, caught May 8 by Cindy Pawlowski of Frazee, in the Rainy River, Koochiching County
  • Flathead catfish: First record was 47 inches, caught May 8 by Steven DeMars of Stillwater, in the St. Croix River, Washington County; current record is 49 inches, caught June 7 by Jacob Robinson of Shakopee, in the Minnesota River, Scott County.

Anglers can set state records for certified weight for most fish species, or catch-and-release length for muskie, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish.

In addition to the DNR’s record program, anglers have the option to participate in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame’s Master Angler Program, which recognizes 60 fish species.

Take advantage of great summer fishing – buy a license

Fishing has been excellent this season and snagging a fishing license opens the door to fishing opportunities throughout the state.

You can buy a fishing license at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

Visit the DNR website for more information about fishing licenses and regulations and the 2016 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.

Bass anglers on Mille Lacs can provide data through partnership

Bass anglers on Mille Lacs Lake have the opportunity to share their fishing reports online by providing information through a partnership between the DNR and Minnesota BASS Nation.

The angler information when collected over a number of years complements information the DNR collects through lake surveys. The bass fishing on Mille Lacs Lake is excellent and along with the attention bass angling gets, the DNR wants to collect as much information as possible about the lake’s bass and bass fishing.

Anglers can provide information on fish caught, fish size, angler effort and more, either after a fishing trip or while fishing. Once logged in, anglers can go back and see how they did on past trips, as the site will store that information for them. The DNR and Minnesota BASS Nation have partnered for more than 12 years to collect data from bass anglers. Anglers interested in bass fishing can also participate on any lake in the state.

Providing the information is voluntary and provides to DNR reliable estimates of size structure of bass in lakes these anglers fish. Size structure is the proportion of small bass to large bass, and this information is used as an indicator of growth and survival of bass.

More information on bass fishing is available on the DNR website.

Adding to ranks of anglers is topic for DNR summit

Gone are the days when the hunting masses wore red flannel for visibility, when youth wandered the countryside with .22 rifles hunting squirrels with little or no supervision and kids sold nightcrawlers along the side of the road like lemonade.

Not only have clothes and methods for hunting and fishing changed, but participation has declined, an issue that led the DNR to plan a two-day conference from Friday, Aug. 26, toSaturday, Aug. 27, that will focus on recruiting and retaining hunters and anglers. Registration is open for the conference, which will take place at Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center.

The conference will allow for information sharing on best practices to design and deliver recruitment and retention programs. Presentations from national experts, reflections from local organizations and breakout sessions to address common challenges are also scheduled. Additionally, the DNR will provide a free toolkit with templates for new programs, strategies to enhance existing programs, evaluation tools, and checklists to help program planning and management.

Volunteers and staff of organizations or agencies and members of the public involved or interested in preserving Minnesota’s outdoor heritage are encouraged to attend. There are no fees for registration or meals.

Twins offer discounts and free hat through partnership with DNR

Anyone with a 2016 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo baseball cap and discounted tickets by being among the first 500 to buy through a special Minnesota Twins ticket offer online.

The offer is good for these Minnesota Twins home games:

  • Sunday, Aug. 14, vs. Kansas City Royals
  • Saturday, Sept. 3, vs. Chicago White Sox
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, vs. Seattle Mariners.

Ticket prices vary by game and seat locations are either in the Field Box or Home Run Porch. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Tickets will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The offer is available only through the DNR Twins webpage.

Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

DNR partners with St. Paul Saints on special ticket offer, free hat

Anyone with a 2016 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can receive a special offer on tickets and a free Saints logo cap to select St. Paul Saints games through a partnership between the Saints and the DNR.

The offer is good for these upcoming Saints games at CHS Field:

  • Friday, July 22, vs. Laredo (includes fireworks)
  • Saturday, July 23, vs. Laredo
  • Monday, July 25, vs. Sioux City
  • Saturday, Aug. 13, vs. Sioux Falls
  • Sunday, Aug. 14, vs. Sioux Falls.

Tickets are $20 for reserved outfield seating. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Due to high demand, seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis only, and the offer is good for advance purchases only through the DNR Saints webpage. Phone orders cannot be accepted. Only orders purchased together will be seated together. Game times are subject to change, and there are no refunds or exchanges.

Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

Did you know? Preparation vital for catch-and-release

The most important thing to remember about how to release fish without injuring them is to be prepared. Have the necessary equipment readily available: needle-nose pliers, forceps, line clipper, a soft mesh or coated landing net, and your camera.

It is critically important to minimize the time the fish is out of the water. If possible, unhook the fish while it is in the water. If taking a picture, hold larger fish horizontally with the head and body supported. Do not hold large fish vertically or by the gills or eyes.

Play and land the fish as quickly as possible and moisten your hands with water to protect the fish’s slime layer and prevent post-release infections. If the fish is deeply hooked, cut the line inside the fish’s mouth. If it is deeply hooked and bleeding, consider keeping the fish to eat as long as it is of legal size in the open angling season for that species.

With the state record fish program now accepting applications for catch-and-release muskie, flathead catfish and lake sturgeon, anglers with a potentially record-setting catch are encouraged to quickly measure and take a picture of the fish before releasing it. Allowing state records to be set via catch-and-release presents an opportunity to recognize Minnesota’s outstanding fishing opportunities for these species while also formally honoring the skill of anglers who catch and release a trophy muskie, flathead or sturgeon. Visit the DNR website for guidelines.

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