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Cover of the 2002 regs!


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Any of you TRF boys recognize who's on the cover of the 2002 fishing regulations! Anybody that's up there and knows Greg say howdy to him from "Sammy", and congrats on the statewide exposure. That just figures, I teach the guy everything he knows about river fishing, and then HE gets famous.
Just kidding - I'm really proud to see one of my old river rat buddies on the cover of the regs.

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Hey Sam, would your first name happen to be Matt? I was wondering where you moved to.

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You could have tipped me over with a
feather.!!!!!!!!!!

My long time desire to know the guy on
the cover of the rule book has come true.

Congratulations to Greg...That is really
cool.

Listen to the news and find out how that
came about....


Curt Quesnell

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sammy, I still fish a place i call Matts Hole.
It is just upstream from where you used to live . Nice to hear you still interested in fishing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Geez fellas,
I'm kinda flattered, and surprised that a few of you recognized me right away! Am I to understand that there is a section of the Red River someone refers to as "my old spot"?
If that's true - Thanks! I'm honored.
I really miss that river. I doubt there are 10 people in the whole country that realize how great the fishing truly is there. The river used to be a lot better before they dumped all that rock below the dam. We used to clean up on beautiful walleyes, pike and big cats down there. There's still a lot of nice walleyes though - just scattered out a bit more. I understand it's become a terrific smallmouth fishery now. The river from the falls on south to Crookston has got all the right elements for a great smallmouth river. I'd like to see how a few muskies would do in there as well. Greg and I used to catch lots of really big pike above and below the dam. Are they still around? Why don't some of you guys fill me in on how the fishing has been on the river for the last few years. It'd be fun just to have someone remind me of all the great fishing we used to experience in Thief River Falls...

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The biggest fish I've ever caught was just below the dam a couple years ago. I'd just bought a new rod/reel combo and I wanted to try it out before I went on the big lake. So I went below the dam and started casting. About the fifth cast, I thought I hit a snag, until it started moving! I mean it was solid man. After a five minute fight, I landed a 42" northern that was so fat it looked like a pig. Of course I was excited, and nobody was around for me to share my good fortune. I released it, so it might still be down there somewhere. Now whenever I fish, there's a disposable camera in the tackle box for proof.

Oh, the next weekend, on LOW, I didn't catch a fish wink.gif

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The crappie fishing in the river is under-rated. Nice fish, great springtime opportunity near ditch inlets and places out of the current. Big Pike in those same areas. Crappie action probably is better the further east you go, but I'm not sure. I've heard people say that the potential for a state record walleye is in that Red River/Red Lake river and tributary system. Exciting potential. I'd like to fish it a lot more often this year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sam,
The walleye fishing is still good on the river. Instead of fishing by the dam a person has to be a little active and move farther downstream. The dam area is still good in the spring and the fall. The smallmouth fishing is nothing short of great once the water water warms. Alot of fun seeing them flying out of 2 feet of water and heading for the current, then hang on. The crappie fishing is also great. At times it is hard to get through the crappies to get to the walleyes.When that happens a person need to use crank baits. We dont see the large cats like we use to in the 80s but still manage to get some. The largest i caught last year was 9lbs. not like the 10 to 20lbrs we used to catch. I dont see many people fishing cats anymore. There is still plenty of pike in the river but mostly small ones with a large one being caught. once in a while.

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Rock,
Sounds like the fishing is great. I wish those crappies, and smallies were there back when I used to haunt the river. You refer to events in the past that put you and I on the river about the same time. You mind if I ask for some kind of info about who you are? I didn't really fish the Red regularly with to many people, so I'm really in the dark on this one.
Those were the days when the big cats were in the river. Some of my fondest memories were from those times when we'd set up on the western shore of the river just below the dam in the evening. We'd build a fire out of pallets from the center school and wait for one of the rods to double over. Back then the number one bait was always frogs. The walleyes would usually bite just before dark, and then they'd vanish when the big whiskers came cruisin'. We saw some really big channel cats back then.
There used to be this little Asain fella named Lou that brought home 30 lb. cats like they were popcorn. Us kids would hover around him like hungry wolves, somehow hoping that just being in the same general proximity would increase our chances of catching a really big cat. Of course, he'd catch the giants and we'd all be green with envy, but it was still amazing to see!
That river was my home away from home. Now I'm living in Waconia, MN heading a hospital laboratory of 40 employees. I've got 3 kids and one more on the way. I'd still eat, breath and sleep fishing if I could, but alas, I must remain true to my family. I plan to spend a few nights on the Minnesota River this summer. I've gleened a lot of useful info off the locals about big flathead catfish, and it's one of the few species of fish I haven't caught yet, so I'm really full of anticipation for this summer.
There's even a couple of tried and true river rats down here that have committed to a few weekend night trips on the Minnesota's sand bars.
I'll never stop missing the Red Lake River though. It's where I cut my teeth, and it remains a great fishery for a few sharp anglers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sam,
Without giving to much info, you need to talk to your fishing partner who works at Speedy. i see him on a regular basis. We share fishing stories weekly, if not daily.
I wont fish the river much until the end of March, then i will be looking for the crappies. In the mean time i will fish the L.O.W. and the Rainy River as soon as it opens. I hear you also fish the rainy.

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Rockroll,

That's a pretty funky name for such an old codger. I'm glad to hear your still on the river. "Speedy boy" just filled me in the other day. It'd be good to get together on the river sometime. Ya' ever get to fish with Greg anymore. You fellas used to be pretty tight?

Canopy Sam

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hmmmm
i have heard storys for the last 5 or 6 years (been here for 10 now) about the once upon a time catfish from below the dam.
i wonder if there are any left?
and if so i wonder what my chances would be to catch them?
we have managed a few tiny ones. like about 3-4 inch long ones. those were flukes as we were fishing for other fish.

Monty

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Pretty big cats too.

They did some remodeling below the dam
that might have changed things. but
Maybe the guys who could catch catfish
quit fishing for em there.

Havent seen one for a long time

Curt Quesnell

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might have to take the time and make an effort to try this summer.
i know me walking up to the dam with a big cat pole might look funny, but if there might be cats there then i should put forth the effort to lure one to my hands.
Monty

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might have to take the time and make an effort to try this summer.
i know me walking up to the dam with a big cat pole might look funny, but if there might be cats there then i should put forth the effort to lure one to my hands.
Monty

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Must...
The big whiskers were down in a deep hole (around 25-30 feet deep) directly below the dam. The corp of engineers thought the dam was moving back in the late 80's so they filled in the hole with rock, and changed the whole ecology of the river from then on. There used to be lots of big fish of many species before that time. Walleyes over ten, plenty of 20+ pike, giant cats, enormous carp, suckers, and sheepshead. After they dumped in that rock the fish didn't have anywhere to hole up in - so I think they all moved way back down river. Just a theory, but I know the days of big cats ended then. I've only seen a couple 10's since then, but I haven't really put any "cat time" in on the river for years. It used to be a completely different river back then though. Not the first river the corp has destroyed for the sake of good looks.
No lie though, I've seen carp down there that would make your legs quiver. We used to watch em' fight on the shallow sand bars until the water turned pink with blood. HUGE CARP.. Really cool stuff!!!
I wish we could bring that river back to what it used to be.
Heh, Rockroll, are those crappies above the dam, or below? Out by Highlanding? Give me a clue - I might just make a trip up there if you're willing to share a few sweet spots. I still haven't changed - I'll follow you around like a mangy hound. No pride - just want fish!!!

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well doesn't that just blow.
and they blame the fishers that are not catch and release for the survival of the fish. or the ones who just take and take and take or not follow the regs.
and here they are just as much to blame.
go figure.

well for crappie we have had alot of luck fishing the bottom side of the dam. various times and various weather conditions will call for dif spots and dif approach, but for us fishing the bottom of the dam has treated us good for the last couple years.
Monty

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I wonder if the rivers a cyclical and will come back to form and start producing fish again the way they used to. If you go out just about anywhere in the country by highlanding and find where a large ditch goes into the river, out of the current you can catch crappies and pike. I caught crappies once just by tossing in a fuzzy jig with a minnow and letting it hang in the current, mosquito's were terrible or I probably would have caught a ton of them. I bet if you tried all of those ditches in the spring you'd catch a lot of fish.

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The river is as strong of a fishery as it has ever been. A lot of people are refereing to the dam as where people "used" to catch them. There is no doubt that the fish don't hold there like the olden days but there is a lot of river to fish between here in Crookston too and the dam can produce fish with the right conditions. Years ago, we never had large amounts of smallmouth and crappies like we do now. The cats are definately down but they pick up the further down river you go. I don't believe the river is cyclical , you just have to spend the time and find the best places to fish.

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I've had nothing but excellent luck catching crappies in the spring on the river. Right at the mouth of some of the larger ditches that run into the river like PIKER had mentioned. The only time the action slows down is when a big old jack swims through. For this occasion, I have a second rod rigged up (all but the minnow), and as soon as the action stops, I throw a sucker minnow on my second rod, and toss it out. It's a great way to spend an afternoon/evening. I've caught a few over 10 and one over 15 like this. About 5 minutes after I landed and released them, the crappies were going ape-shi* again. Just for clarity, my crappie rod makes it's home on the bank while I fish with the other rod.

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Man, I have got to make a trip up there for the crappie bite. Does this start as soon as the ice goes out? Will one of you folks let me know when the ice does go out up there?
Hey Lip. You're right. I was probably a little biased when I said that the Corp destroyed the river. That's a little strong. It was just such a special place to me as a kid. I practically lived down there during the summer. That whole stretch of river between the dam and Oakland park was such a great place to explore - and ssoooo many big fish. You know, I think a lot of my disgust with what happened to the river comes from what the renovation did to fishing for the years immediately following. It was kinda like somebody you don't know coming into your house and completely trashing it for no apparent reason. Ya' know what I mean?
I'm really excited to hear about the positive changes that are occuring with the fishery now though.
Hey, excellent job in recognizing the "big pike" presence while fishing for crappayos. Most fellas don't ever notice that, or capitilize on it. The same technique is really effective on any body of water as well.

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Sam, You asked if i still Fish with Greg. I still do. I spent last Sat. with him on the L.O.W. we went pike fishing, had a blast. we caught 11. 7 were over 10lbs. with the largest 17 lbs.

[This message has been edited by Rockroll (edited 03-19-2002).]

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Rock,
That had to be a good time! Please tell me the majority of those fish are still swimming though. I love catchin' pike under flags at this time of the year, but I'm really worried that the LOW pike fishery is gettin' hit too hard at this time of the year, and too many fellas are killing too many fish. Mind ya' now, I've got nothin' against keepin' a couple of "fours" or "fives" so you've got a little fresh pike for the pan - they taste wonderful when they come from under the ice. Just don't wanna see a great fishery get ruined - ya' know what I mean?
You'll have to tell Greg to grow some hair on his legs - he still can't be an official river rat if he don't have hair on his legs.
Do I know Lip Ripper? We'll have to try and get together some time I'm up that way. Glad to hear you guys did so well! Say Hi to Greg for me and tell him I'm really proud of his picture on the cover of the regs.. It's kinda funny, everywhere I see the regs sittin' on a shelf in a store somewhere I always tell everybody within earshot that that's the guy I grew up fishin' the Red Lake River with. Really funny thing is everybody says it looks just like me on the cover. I've never been so embarrased in my whole life. Har Har HAr!!!!

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All of those fish were released. We threw a tape and a scale on them, took a picture and put them back. The great thing about LOW is that all northerns between 30-40 inches need to be released and there are a ton of those slot fish showing up. I think the northern fishery is in good shape.

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That's great news ripper! Thanks for tellin' me.
Hey Rock,how are your boys doin'? Do they ever do any fishin' with ya anymore? I haven't seen either one of em' for years. I don't think "C" ever came to our reunion. You'll have to say hi to em' for me.

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Hey Sam, "C" happens to be my brother and he is still doing fine. I'll tell him hi from you.

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Well I'll be jiggered. Hiya "T". Good talkin' with ya' again. We'll have to keep in touch.

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Sam, My youngest son fishes more than i do, however i still can teach him a trick or two,but each year it gets harder to out fish him but i keep trying. The river has been open all year below the dam so i am looking for early ice out and the crappies to start biting. It will still be a while before the Red and the Thief opens above the dam. I will keep you posted.

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