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Flyboy Game Warden


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Had an interesting thing happen to me over the 4th. We have a cabin on a fairly remote lake in northen MN. There is usually less than 5 boats on the lake at any given time. Many times I am the only boat. It's a great get-away. Anyway, I'm out fishing in the early morning when I noticed a float plane flying overhead. Didn't think much of it since I see these periodically. I lose sight of it as it passes behind the island I am fishining by. Next thing I know I see propeller coming straight at me. I just about freaked. It didn't occur to me that this could be the DNR. I'm just wondering who this crazy guy is in the plane that is heading straight for me. I quickly reeled in my line and was geting ready to start my motor and high-tail it out of his way. Just then he slides open his door and I saw the uniform plain as day. Needless to say, I stayed right there. I don't think he would've been happy if I took off. To add insult to injury, I left my license at our cabin. Normally I keep it in my tackle box (which is always with me). But for some reason I had it in my wallet which I left behind. Again, were out in the middle of nowhere and I didn't even think about it. Just goes to show you, you are never out of reach of the long arm of the law. They just gave me a warning (which I really appreciate). Actually they were very freindly and we ended up chatting for awhile.

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glad you didn't get a ticket laugh I've gone fishing without my license on my person on occasion, always on accident. The latest was when I was wading, heck I was even swimming past a couple deep spots at times, in a stream. I was wearing my swimming suit and going barefoot and I didn't want my wallet getting soaked so I tossed it on the kitchen counter before I left. About an hour into fishing I realized that by leaving my wallet behind, I left my license behind.

I kept fishing and took my chances, the bite was too good to leave.

Sometimes I wish I could get a lifetime fishing license tattooed on my forearm.

It's always a surprise getting checked by game wardens in float planes.. it has only happened to me once, up in Ontario.

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I love that area. You are lucky to have a place there. I have some friends that live up there and you might even buy your bait from one of them. I don't get up there as much as I used to. Geeze the fun we used to have smirk

"hooks"

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Yep, the area is nice. It's a bit of a drive but worth it. That just means you really get away for a long weekend. A little tough finding a decent walleye lake but all the northern, bass, sunnies, crappies, etc you can handle.

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My first thought is how expensive a stop like that is. Drop ins on small lakes with minimal boats.

(By the way, I'd have thrown the book at you wink )

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I'm just trying to see the logic in this. The DNR spends how much money on a float plane and a pilot's license to check boaters three miles from the edge of the earth??? In the meantime, we have hundreds of heavily fished lakes that are definitely under-patrolled. Does this cause anyone else to scratch their head?

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My guess would be that he has to fly a certain amount of hours per month and he was just getting his time in. I would think that there would have been some type of aerial surveys to be done or animal tracking which would have given him his hours but because of cutbacks he has to just fly and this would give him some practice on take offs and landings with the floats.

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I could see acting on a qualified tip by someone for a solid violation. To me that is a HUGE waste of time/$ that could be spent better elsewhere. One guy on a small lake like you said is a very low cost/benefit ratio.

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There is another way to look at this. Sure, actually checking that one guy is prolly not cost effective. But look what happened, that one guy shared his experience on an internet forum and now countless people are reading about this experience and will remember that you can be checked ANYWHERE, ANY TIME. How much is that worth?

COs cannot check every person, every time. Sadly, they must rely on the FEAR that someone will be checked in order to keep some people in compliance. This event will spread a good amount of FEAR that you could be checked in even a remote lake. Now if they were doing this constantly, that would be one thing, but here and there, I not only an OK with it, I applaud their thinking.

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He's doing his job - no more, no less. Always good to know they're around - they help us.

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I like to know they're around, too. This just sounds extraneous to me. Not to mention, what if you were on a hot bite, then this float plane lands nearby and taxis up to you....better find the fish somewhere else.

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As much as this can spread the fear, this can also spread the word just as much about potential huge waste. Double edged sword.

Then next time the state is begging for more or whining about not making ends meet, we can say (in the words of Joe Soucherey) "Don't tell me we don't have any money!"

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Any pilots here? How much does it cost to drop in on a lake, and then take off? Maybe he was out there for something else, and decided to check it out. My guess is that it wasn't a huge cost associated with it. I agree that hearing this reinforces the fact that you CAN get checked at any time, more so than seeing this as a wasted expense. Just my two cents though...

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Any pilots here? How much does it cost to drop in on a lake, and then take off? Maybe he was out there for something else, and decided to check it out. My guess is that it wasn't a huge cost associated with it. I agree that hearing this reinforces the fact that you CAN get checked at any time, more so than seeing this as a wasted expense. Just my two cents though...

In general, the cost of a float plane pilot is around $100 to start the plane, and depending on the size of the plane(more/bigger engines are more expensive) I'd guess around $200-400 an hour for flying. This covers costs of the pilot, fuel, regular maintenance, pre-takeoff prep, and post-landing evaluations.

Numbers are from my dad's estimates, he's a pilot and I asked him this same question back in june.. lol.

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I had this happen to us up in Canada one year where the DNR came in on a sea plane. Our first thoughts were that they were coming in to give us some bad news about somebody dieing or ??. I guess I am fine with this - they are doing their job in this remote area. How else would you cover lakes like that up in the far north? By the time they put a boat in the water, check the people, pull the boat out and drive to another remote lake they probably spent the same amount of money in salaries, gas, etc. They can also do flyovers looking for forest fires, meth labs, poachers, etc.

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hiya -

I've been checked in Canada by MNR guys in a float plane a couple times. Always kind of a surprise... One time though, a float plane landed nearby and idled over to out boat. Figured it was the MNR and was digging out my license when a guy not in uniform shut down his engine, stepped out on the float, and asked "what lake is this?" Guy was flying around NW Ontario TOTALLY lost... I had to show him on his map where he was and point him toward Nestor Falls. Scary deal.

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Shifty looking???? Me???

Maybe I shouldn't have flipped him off as he was flying over....kidding. It was kinda funny in hindsight. I had like 10 poles in the boat with only one fisherman. Might look a little suspicious. Most were family memeber's rigs but I usually keep 3 poles at the ready since I switch between species and techniques quite often. The first thing he said on his approach was "how many lines you got in". Then he checked life jackets then license. BTW, first time ever I have seen a CO in any form on this lake in over 10 years. I guess I don't mind having the proper autorities around in these remote areas. A couple of years ago we had a bonehead with property on an ajoining lake start a forest fire. He decided to have a campfire in extreme drought conditions. Luckily they caught it in time beofre it got too far out of hand. They had to call in a plane to drop water on it. Cost him $50K. (Boy, I am just full of life lessons today). The Fire Mashall also owns a lodge on the lake. He put up a sign that says "THIS IS GOD'S COUNTRY. DON'T BURN IT DOWN AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE HELL."

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Hey kitchy shoot me an email.

I would not be able to get back to you until after work though.

"hooks"

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
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