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The Big Gaffer

What to do?

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The Big Gaffer

What would you guys do this weekend? I can't decide.<P>A) Go northern fishing in Canada, tip ups....I have never done this but it sounds like fun<P>B) Try one more time at the **** walleyes on LOW. It has been slow the last few times up.<P>C) Go to Red Lake and try to get some slabs<P>D) Nothing, stay home and drink.

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Guest

I would say Canada, tip ups. <BR>The eye action has been miserable on the big pond. Crappies have eluded me on Red, and I can sit home and drink on days when I am not invited to Canada to fish....therefore, take it from me, Canada, monster pike on tip ups can be had while sitting on the ice with a cocktail or 8. And it is supposed to be B-E-A tiful weekend.<BR>I didn't see option D, Open water fishing on the rainy river. That's my vote for the weekend. Just my $.02<BR>

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The Big Gaffer

Hey birddog,<P>Is the river open and are they catching any fish???? I have never done that but really want to. Also, I have never fished northerns? What is it like. I don't know if I even believe this but my buddy who asked me to go said you can't drink out there. So, he said they sneak Vodka out in a gas can and drink screwdrivers. Is he serious, how can you have a law that you can't drink while fishing??? Those canucks really are stupid if they have a law like that. Is that true or is joking me.

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pickerel hunter

I would fish Pike with tipups because you've never done it. Sounds like a good time especially with the knuckleheads you'll be fishing with. Just tell em' there will be lots of eating, lots of drinking, lots of fighting, and lots of loving. And its just gonna be you and them. I cleaned up this joke for the young FMers. Fish the PIKE..

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widetrack

It's true, and I think it's a good law.<P>My best friend is disabled for life, because he was drinking and being stupid on the ice with a sled.<P>There is lots of things that can go wrong out there sober. The odds of disaster magnify with booze involved.

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Northlander

Ya its true no drinking in the boat in Canada! For lots of good reason too! Wait until your on shore to get your buzz on!

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oledrake

I'm going up to LOW for my first time ever. I'm going with a buddy of mine and we are going thursday through sunday. Looks like we are going to start are day on weelers point. wondering if any body has any information around there or where else we could go around that area? And whats has been the type of bait up there to?<P>p.s. The big gaffer, I would go TIP UP fishing for northerns any time of the day.

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CSTPETER

Gaffer, go for the pike...on the MN side that way you can enjoy a cocktail. I guess I'm with you on the no booze law.sounds like a whole lot of [PoorWordUsage] to me, you can't legislate stupidity. anyway, I'll be on my favorite lttle crappie hole, gettin' a sunburn and responsibly enjoying a cocktail. god bless the USA

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Northlander

As long as you arent running a motorized vehicle thats cool. Remember its not a right to drink its a privelage. Nothing wrong with a responsable smoothy or 2. grin.gif

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Buckets

everything is a privledge, life freedom happiness, nothing is for sure. the people we elect are privledged yet few these days are aware of it. privledge does not insure brains though, only confidence.

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Buckets

Whew, I had too many welcome home brandys and way over terrorized the last few miles home, what a bad fog. <P>Gaffer, get up there Man , this is the ultimate icefishing !! Do the shallow bite in the mornings and especially at dusk till at least a hour after dark. <P>I just got back and things are hoppin up there. Having a big fish fry tonight and planning next weekend trip, if the weather holds. Can't wait.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      In the late 70s or early 80s, Outdoor News had a recipe for grilled largemouth bass. The first ingredient was "1 five pound bass". I still laugh at that.
    • DonkeyHodey
      I eat bass.  I also release bass and typically only keep them to eat when they are by-catch targeting other eaters and I'm in the filleting mood...  (I personally don’t want to keep a bass >~14inches for eating anymore; they don't taste as good (especially in the summer), they have more toxins and I buy the argument that bass help control/balance the bluegill population...) Catch and Release isn’t perhaps the end-all-be-all  for a healthy lake/fishery… Story #1:  My wife caught a nice ~15 incher in mid-May that was missing an eye...--We couldn't keep him then due to season, but it would've been a bit of a dilemma if he’d been caught a week later after full opener.   Do I eat a bigger fish that might be limited to grow big (?mercy killing) or let the survivor continue to survive?   (It did seem likely his lost eye was a result of having been previously caught (?foul hook with a treble hook or removed roughly/carelessly/mishandled?   I could tell stories, and I suppose that could be an interested thread to start:  fish removal techniques you’ve witnessed that horrify you...  This, perhaps, highlights what Del was getting at in terms of harvest vs. annoying the fish…) Agree with Don.  Wasting of ANY fish is awful.  Story #2:  I was fishing this spring in the river and caught a big ol’ beauty of a white sucker (personal best!); when I released it, I was mocked by fellow shore-fishermen for throwing back a "carp" and they advised me the "right thing to do" is pitch it up on the shore...   (there's still alot of fisherman that believe the DNR actually encourages destruction of "rough fish")  I politely reminded them this big treasure is likely providing (through its baby suckers) future countless meals for their precious walleyes…  This argument was laughed at…  But back to bass…--Rodbender—I think you'll find very few anglers interested in a stranger telling them which fish they can or cannot keep...  It comes across as “stop eating MY future big bass!”  A lake is very much designed to thrive with harvest, and I would point out, releasing everything doesn’t always cleanly equal “more big fish.” There's comments here about the northern pike that perhaps highlight this paradox;  numerous lakes in MN had a ridiculous slot limit (release all norts <40 inches) that effectively made nort fishing catch and release (since the central and southern lakes effectively can’t produce a 40 incher and even if it could, eating one would be, well, interesting…).  The goal was to produce more big fish—the end result was lakes infested with <20 inch snakes that no one seems to want (and end up a nuisance by-catch when targeting anything else.)  Furthermore, those numerous small norts grow very slowly (and die of “old age” at 27 inches…)  (…thus, now the DNR is expending resources to try and encourage harvest and hence the (in my opinion) move in the right direction with the 2018 nort regulation changes…)  Yes, I know bass and norts are 2 VERY different species and react differently to lake/season/climate conditions, but lakes/fish/nature doesn’t always behave as we intuitively “know” it will.  A fellow fisher (that is eating “your bass”) might be reducing competition for remaining bass and potentially increasing their growth velocity in the lake.  (I will again repeat:  A lake is very much designed to thrive with harvest--be it humans, eagles, loons, cormorants, bears, snapping turtles, other fish, etc…  I know, we humans tend to be greediest, and take our harvest to unsustainable damaging extremes, but, that’s why we have rules/DNR/etc…  Just my thoughts…) Rodbender—If you want more big bass, there’s a good argument that you should harvest and eat (do not waste!) more small northern pike; they are outcompeting the bass for forage.    (It’ll likely get you farther than trying to guilt/change/bully what is otherwise legal behavior in others…)
    • ozzie
      To the OP: As you get older and wiser you will notice that you can only change what you can control and you cannot control what others think is right.  They are within the law so the only thing to do is get the law changed.  Bass are fun to catch but too many of them and they become a nuisance just like small pike... Also be happy that you are sitting at a landing, getting paid good $$$, to "protect" a lake that more than likely already has most of the invasive species that you are sitting there trying to protect the lake against!!  Sorry but I am not a fan of the AIS inspectors as they just harass most of the time and have absolutely done nothing to stop the spread of invasive species IMO.  My prime example is North Long Lake in Brainerd...4-5 years ago, show up to the landing and see they have a spray station there.  We pull up and talk with the DNR rep and they said they are pressure washing all boat upon exit to spray them for clean travel to next lake.  At this point North Long was listed as a clean lake with no listed invasive species according to the DNR and the DNR employees at the launch that day.  I asked them why wash boats coming out of a clean lake and not washing them before entering said clean lake?  They said it would be too time consuming to wash pre launch!!!! WTF good does it to spray boats exiting a clean lake and not upon entering?!?!?  This is our tax and license dollars being spent on the worst system around: AIS Inspectors!!!!  Keep up the good fight but to me your attempt to educate people on what to keep is about as pointless as you job sitting at the landing protecting lakes that are already invaded by the same species you are trained to find!!!  People who keep bass, start off with a different thought process, as most don't consider bass (let alone bigger bass) good table fare to begin with... 
    • leech~~
      Lol, had this happen many times on lakes in the Brainerd area and north.   One nice quite morning my buddy and I got up before day light to fish for Eye's in a small channel between lakes he has a cabin on.  No one in sight on the lake. About 8:30 am we hear this loud roar coming around the point and about 15 Bass boats with 150 to 300 hp motors flying WOT around the point and right up this small channel!  Thought we were going to get hit or swamped by their wakes! 🤪   I'm all for boys having fun with their toys but asking others to not keep fish they are making a big game out of, not so much! 😕   That being said I have only kept 3 Bass in my life. One's on the wall and 2 I eat to give it a try and never eat another there after. 
    • LoonASea
      Its been years since I targeted bass ,,,, Ever since I fished a lake during a bass tournament and was told to get out of their way because they were fishing a tournament and paid lot of dollars to be there to fish ,,, My response was "If you want to fish here get up earlier tomorrow" ,,, That kinda soured my opinion of bass fishermen ,,,, Respect for the resource and other fishermen is my train of thought ,,, Back to your OP,,, suggesting that the smaller fish make better table fare might be the better approach and not give the idea that you are standing on a pedestal,,, If you contact the DNR ask when fishing with 2 lines will become a reality    
    • SkunkedAgain
      Congratulations. Don't be a stranger around here
    • rodbender27
      Thank you for your input and information you have acquired through your experience in the field. I also agree with your words on small pike. It was nice to see the DNR taking a stand on the issue and creating a new set of regulations that will hopefully benefit all areas of our state.  With some of the responses I have gotten and some of my own self-reflection I have begun to realize that there may not be a best way to approach this issue and try and enhance the mindful thinking of others. For me, this is very disheartening as a passionate angler who has had the tradition of enjoying the outdoors passed down to me from multiple generations before. Taking the interest that was instilled in me from an early age and putting in diligent hours on the water to improve my understanding of fish behavior to catch the largest and most savvy bass has presented me with a sense of accomplishment that I would love to see in future anglers. I hate to reduce that possitive thinking because there may not be that possibility for anglers who target all species of fish that swim. As much as I see angling enjoyment decreasing if the selective harvest trend does not continue to increase, the most concerning issue to me is one from an economic standpoint as my home state of Minnesota relies heavily on the market of water related activities as one if its major sources of profit generation. If we as anglers (who make up a large percentage of that consumer market) are not able to enjoy the hobby because of depleted fisheries, i fear there will be much greater consequences. 
    • Wanderer
      My, that’s a pretty fish!
    • Surface Tension
      Sorry to hear that.  I hope the scrap yard has their contact information and they're tracked down.
    • Surface Tension
      The water is cold up there right now but you still might want to try casting spoons from shore.   As mentioned going inland for streamers or hit a Designated Trout Lake https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/trout_lakes/list.html