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How many spear fisherman are here?

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Guest

I just don't get the attraction or the rush of killing fish, espeically great big northerns. These fish are getting as rare as blad eagles twenty years ago in this state.( May be a slight exaggeration, but none-the-less, somewhat true.)

On my home lake, in the Ottertail area, one spear fisherman is pretty much responsable for the decline of the lakes notherns. He's taken a couple twenties, and God only knows how many from the 8-12 range in the past few years. It's not a big lake, and I've noticed the impact. If you want to catch 100 16-24 in northerns, I got the perfect spot for you. I haven't caught a northern over six lbs. on that lake for a long time. Although, I did see a 20+ last fall. I HOPE she makes it through the winter.

Nothing is more frustrating than catching a bunch for hammer-handle notherns in a day, I hate as much as anyone, and spearing would be a great way to take those class of fish out of a fishery. But, killing big northerns completely cancels out any good that would be done by taking out the annoying small fish.

Do any of you let big fish swim past, and not take your shot?

I'm not trying to start a huge fire here, but I just don't really understand what the fun is. Hell, I'd rather just sit in the house and watch these fish come through the hole just to know that there still out there. I wouldn't even want to actaully catch them, if it meant that the would be eliminated from the fishery all together.

Big northerns are extremely important to any lake, and they are about as fun a fish to catch as well. A 10 lbs northern is a big-time workout, a better fight than a walleye of the same size. I just don't get how they can be thrown away as a rough fish.

I would say that spearing is on it's way out. It's a fishing practice that goes against all the new theories of conservation. I just can't believe it's still allowed.


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Skeets

I couldn't agree more with your statements.
You took the words out of my mouth.
The same thing is happening in my area, you can't buy a pike over 2#, it seems.
I don't know if it is because or spearing, but I'm sure there are big fish taken each year by "spearfishermen".

If it is OK to spear big or little pike, why not spear muskies, walleye, and bass too?
Why pike?
Pike are NOT rough fish...they are a great fish to have in any lake, the bigger the better. smile.gif

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Gissert

I agree with Paul on this one. I still have my spearing stuff as well, but do not have a house. I will probably cobble together a 4 x 6 sometime, as I still really enjoy watching fish behavior through the eyes of the Norwegian Television.

I wish to keep my right to spear, should I choose to do so. I used to spear one or two 5-6 pound pike every winter. They taste wonderful when baked in the oven.

There are game hogs in every facet of fishing, be it angling or spearing. Remember that older feller a few years back that got busted with a whole bunch of Ottertail walleyes in his freezer?If you see abuse of the resource that is illegal, call the TIP line or the local CO.

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Brett Meyer

I have been spear fishing for about 5 years, my brother got me into it, and my brother and I got my uncles back into it, so it's a family affair for us.

As for the decline of northerns due to spearfishing, I don't think you can come up with valid proof that supports this idea. I know there might be a few "Trophy Spearfishermen" out there, but everyone I know that spears, which is about 15 people, on average spear only one or two 2-4 pound fish each time they get out if they are lucky. This number seems to be constant. I know if I saw a big northern, I would probably spear it, but that doesn't happen ever, for me anyways.
You should remember, even though we are spearfishing, that doesn't mean that we can keep more than the posted limit, same as angling, 3 fish, or fewer for specific lakes. I don't know why people have such as negative outlook twards spearfishing, my grandpa has been doing it for about 70 years, and he loves it. When it comes down to it, spearing is no different than fishing, except you can be a little more choosy if you have the chance, which could cause you to get skunked. If the DNR felt that this was a significant factor on any species, they would try to find a way to fix it. People have been spearing for a long time in the lakes country, and I think if it was as bad as some people think it is, the DNR would have outlawed it years ago.

As for people saying "I have noticed a decline in fishing the last couple years", I don't agree with that statement either. I have fished ottertail for the last two years, all year round. I am there everyweekend in the winter, and at least every other in the summer. I could say that walleye fishing there has not been good the last couple years, and for me that's true, but in general that statement is false.

If you have ever been to the fish hatchery on the dead river in Otter Tail Co. You would see the number and size of fish that actually come from Otter tail, I was amazed the first time I saw that cage of 30+, 8+lb fish, and the number of keepers was outrageous, and that is just in one net.

The fish are there. Some species on certain lakes seem to go in cycles, just like grouse, IT HAPPENS, thats the way most things in nature work. The proof is on the aqua-veiw. I always see fish, walleyes, perch, each time I go out, but they don't want to bite. Sorry about the lenghty note, but this is what I know based on my education, try to correct me if you can prove it, I would be glad to be corrected. I don't want to come off like I know everything, but thats how I feel based on facts.

[This message has been edited by Brett Meyer (edited 01-28-2003).]

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Paul Rohweller

I spent years sitting in the spearhouse. I still have my spear but no house anymore. The fish are worth more in the water to me than they are on my supper table. If people did it in a responsible way I think it would be ok but a few have ruined it for the many. I still enjoy sitting in the spearhouse but its just for the watching, gotta know when the waldos are running ya know! lol Overall my stance is to keep my rights as a spearfisherman. I dont do it but if they take it away whats next? Crankbaits? Just a humble opinion Paul

------------------
Paul Rohweller
Pine to Prairie Guide Service
218-962-3387
http://fishingminnesota.com/pinetoprairie

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Guest

usualy when I see a big northern I'll let it swim off. the fact that a northern is fooled by a decoy I carved is enough satisfaction for me. Its realy fun to watch them hogs come underneth the hole.
when I want some fish for the diner table I will just spear a couple of smaller ones.

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