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Tusslin' with Sturgeon....Again


curt quesnell

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Fair sized group of FMers up for a Saturday Sturgeon

fish April 23rd.

After a slow morning with one Dinosaur in the boat, things

broke loose in the PM. Rusty Millers River Pro got on top

of em and several were nabbed before we petered out about

6 pm.

No real giants but several were around the 45 to 50 inch

area.

Rick Paquin (our leader) Darren, Deitz, Rusty, Walleye

Jon, Captain Justin Kjos, and Jarod Kolden gave it the

onion all day. Sunday morning found Rusty and Jon standing

on the Jetty at Warroad trying to coax a Pike or two.

14th nice weekend in row!!!!!!!!!!!

Sturgeon fishing is a pretty good time, hope you give

it a try.

BTW, the Ice Out Pike Derby at Zipple Bay paid out

$2850.00 on Sunday $1425 to the winning team from

Moorhead, Mn. 57 pounds and some change to win, one

of the biggest weights in the 9 year history of the

Derby. Next year is the 10th Annual so there will

be some extras you can bet.

Thats it!

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Man I had a blast... Look for the Hot Bite Fishing Show of this trip to hit the net hopefulloy late this week or early next!!!

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Last weekend was the perfect example of how FMer's "have more fun". The video should be awesome as long as Darin doesn't use a bunch of Littlefeet tunes for background music. You'll notice when your watching that us local guys let Rick and Deitz catch most of the fish. We had to shake quite a few off to make those guys look good too. lol. In all seriousness, I would like to thank Rick, Deitz, and Darin for making the trip, and Rusty, Justin, and Curt for the use of their boats. I can't forget Sandee and Rick at Clementson Resort. Thanks for putting up with us. That strange, lingering odor is Rusty's. Maybe you can contact his wife to see how she gets it out of the upholstery. Great time guys, I can't wait for the next time......

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Glad to hear you let Kolden catch all the burbots. We had a guy in our boat like that too.

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That pout kolden caught was nothing compared to the 4 toother he found later that day! What a prize that one was, last I heard was Darin was going to bring it home and mount it. I wonder if that panned out?

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What was her name?? I think one of my buds caught that 4 toother this winter. grin.gifgrin.gif

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Darin said it was actually a three toother, the forth one turned out to be a piece of popcorn....

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Good lord.... Im still giggling.. That weekend was a blast.. that popcorn did me in.. my sides still hurt..

Thanks a billion Rick, Darin, Deitz, and Sandee & Rick.. That was the ultimate weekend...I don't think that we could have had a better bunch of FMers to getRdone..

However next time we are not going to shake off them fish for the film boys.. It's our turn to hook em up...

Can't wait for the vids to come out and get a sneek preview of the bloopers tape...

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Memories of the 3 tooth with popcorn....will be remembered forever. Boys, I decided to sell my Ranger this year...I plan on down sizing for the year and buying 5 acres on Flag island. If anyone knows someone in the market for a new boat let me know.

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I know but I want the lot on Flag more. I think its a good investment. I can always buy another boat...although I think I might cry for a week or two...it has been an awsome boat, no complaints.

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Kjos,

I will be staying at Flag Island Resort June 9-12.

Maybe I will see you up there, I can't wait.

Tully

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Tully, I plan on being there June 11-15th lets talk when it gets closer.

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I wrote this article about the trip up north...

Fish # 82,456

I had the pleasure of meeting fish number 82,456 on April 23, 2005, and it’s one I will not soon forget.

The largest species of fish that swims in Minnesota waters is the Sturgeon. Not too many bodies of water are home to the Sturgeon, but a few of the larger lakes, and a few of the river systems that make up our lake and river systems here in Minnesota do. Rick Paquin and I set out in search of the elusive sturgeon for the first open water Hot Bite Fishing Show of the 2005 season. We met up with WalleyeJon, Curt Quesnell, Kjos, and Rusty of Wiskers Guide Service at the abnormally large body of water that we share with the country of Canada: Lake of the Woods.

Understanding that we would be wrestling the largest fish that swims in our waters, we were rigged with heavy gear: 5/0 hooks, 50 lb line, heavy swivels, and 3 oz No Roll sinkers were the norm for the day. Throw in a gob of night crawlers to draw the fish in, and we were set. The weather was far from perfect as the wind chill dipped into the single digits, a stark contrast from the upper 60 degree weather of the weekend before. This fact made me quite nervous--I have fished many cold fronts in my life and have often met up with a very hard day on the water. WalleyeJon (Jon Berns) consoled me by saying that these fish seem much less susceptible to cold fronts and high pressure as they are really more of a scavenger than a predator in the water.

We were on the water by about 9:30 a.m. with our rods in their rod holders, and the worms hopefully doing their job attracting the prehistoric fish. Quite a bit of time elapsed with little success; however, Justin Kjos pointed out that the bite really didn’t start till about 11 a.m. and continued until around 3 p.m. Braced by this knowledge and considering the temperature, I did my best to keep my spirits high. It was at 11:05 that fish 82,456 and I began our acquaintance.

Curt pointed out to me that my rod was starting to do the dance that we had been waiting for. I grabbed it from the rod holder, took a deep breath, and set the hook in such a way as to let whatever was on the other end of the rod know who was boss. Although the hook landed firmly, I failed at letting it know who was boss as it came screaming to the surface, jumped, and dove back to the bottom from which it came before I was even able to let out the battle cry! It was a grueling twenty later that fish # 82456 finally decided to give me a break and enter Curt’s boat for a few pictures. I’m quite sure she had more time in her, but she knew my arms had enough. After a picture or two and a measurement (47.4”), we turned her over to the Minnesota DNR and pointed out she had a tag on her. They took my name and address and said they would send me information on the fish, hence this article.

It turns out that fish #82456 received her tag almost one year to the day I caught her, April 28, 2004. She was caught in the same general area and was tagged by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. On that date in 2004 she was 46.7” in length and was aged 21 years old. Surprisingly, in one year she really only grew about 1/2 inch. The DNR told me that the largest fish they had tagged was 71.3 inches in length, however, that fish was never weighed. The largest fish they have ever weighed was 77.9 lbs. and 65.7” in length. Both of these fish came from the Little Fork River.

From the Minnesota DNR:

Intense commercial exploitation during the late 1800s and early 1900s decimated the once abundant sturgeon population. After the decline of the commercial fishery, the sturgeon population was unable to rebound due to water pollution in the Rainy River, the primary spawning area. The pollution prevented the sturgeon from spawning successfully most years. Sturgeon are however an extremely long-lived species. Enough individuals managed to survive, and reproduction was enough to maintain a small population. With the passage of the Clean Water Act and it’s amendments in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the sturgeon population stated to grow and reproduction is currently successful in most year. Today, the Lake of the Woods? Rainy River system is one the few areas in the country that has a lake sturgeon population that is healthy enough to support a fishery. Male lake sturgeon are able to reproduce when they reach 17 years of age, while female sturgeon do not mature until they are about 26 years old. After maturing, males spawn only every two to three years while females spawn every five to nine years.

We saw the direct effect of this in boating five sturgeon in the 20-30 inch range. It was very fun to see a fishery like this able to rebound as it has. I was also able to go toe to fin with two other large sturgeon later in the day with Rusty of Wisker’s Guide service. One measured 48” and another that went 52” and tipped the scales at 41 lbs. Rick Paquin, the leader of FishingMinnesota.com, battled 4 sturgeon of his own. Rusty also landed two. All in all, ten sturgeon for one day’s fishing was not a bad day on the water when the weather was not cooperating.

I know I will be back someday, and hopefully I’ll meet up with #82456 again. She still has four more years until she is mature enough to spawn. I have to say that battling a fish only 12 years younger than me has a bit of an eerie feel to it. I can’t wait again to do it again!

Deitz Dittrich

diezt.jpg

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#82,456 grew 1/2 inch in 1 year!

Thats incredible! You would think a fish that large would be putting inches on over a years time but that is not the case.

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hanson, the dnr mailed me a list of about how long each fish is at each age... they put the inches on quite quickly untill they hit about 40".. then she a slow grow from there.. I was equally amazed as you!.. If I would have guessed I would have thought about 2" a year?

Then again Chris... I havn't grown up at all in the last 15 or so years... olny out... grin.gif

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I was going to say I wish my growth rate was a 1/2" per year!! Man, I'm out of control. grin.gif

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Nice read Deitz. I have had a bundle of fun fishing

these giants for the last 2 years. I hope we can make

it an annual event. It works out real nice, there isnt

much else going on and the weather usually has moderated

some by late April or early May.

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Them is some awesome words there Deitz... NOt only was the weather not the best but on Friday some of us met at Clemenson and dreded hitting the river with the winds and cold so we headed to Warroad for some Pike fishing... Most were baffeled by only being set up for Sturgeon fishing but I convinced them that we would do just fine. We headed out on the jetty at the Warroad boat landing and after a short demmo on bottom fishing for pike we all took our spots and were off... Of course Rick and Deitz hogged all the pike while Darin and I watched. We missed our share but had a great time anyhow. I was too busy running back and forth with the dip net landing fish. The pike fishing was just a bonus for what was to come on Sat. Over all I believe that Rick landed about 4 pike, biggest was around 39" Deitz landed several also but I lost track of how many or how big they were.. LOL... It was a blast. Huge pike and bionic Sturgeon all in one weekend.. now that is an adventure for hot bite fishing..

Too top it all off, not only was the fishing great but the time we spent bonding and digging at each other made it all that much better... My hats off to the group, they made it what it was..and that was awesome.!!!!!!!

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I only wish we could fish up there more often! We will for sure have to get back up for edition #2 next year. Was a great time guys. I must say that the evening of cards was fun too! I'll keep you posted on how the editing goes. Its funny how I was able to make all those fish Deitz caught look smaller!....ahh..the beauty of Digital Effects!

A small hitch in the audio though is making us do a lil extra work to tell the story.

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Hey Darin,

That sturgeon is gonna grow another 1/2 inch waiting for the video. grin.gif

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Now that fish is going to be much less in weight because it has spawned and been caught 8 more times since then LOL...

Hey Darin.. you on vacation??? LOL.... .Maybe he is still sore for loosing all his poker $$$ to Rick....

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no its not.. its bigger.. pushing 51 lbs!

Who is matt?

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My mind and fingers were not on the same page that day LOL LOL LOL.......

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For those who have'nt seen it yet take a look on the Rainy river forum at a post by Sandee titled...Oh my gosh. Photo there of a real BIG Sturgeon caught last friday in the river.

fiskyknut

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