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What's YOUR story?


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I've been a member of FM for just over a year now and during that time, I've read probably a couple thousand posts. Posts pertaining to 2-stroke engines, 4-strokes, Mapcreate this, Lakemap that, gps, this locator, that locator, upsize, downsize, this rod, that reel, this lure...no that one, and the list goes on and on and on. We live in a hi-tech world of computers, machines run by computers, and now nearly everything related to fishing has, in some way, been created or developed or sold using a computer.

After coming home tonight from a long meeting, having what little bit of quite time my mind has now days, I began to think about fishing. How did I ever start out in this sport and how did I get where I'm at today? I started thinking back as far as I could to "the good 'ol days" trying to remember how old I was when I caught my first fish.

I was born in 1972, and by the time I hit 5 or 6 years old is when I believe I "caught" my very first fish. It was in Canada, on Rainy Lake, fishing with my mom and dad out of a boat they had actually borrowed from a family friend. My dad hooked into a good size northern and gave me the rod to reel it in. I don't remember much about that event, but what I do remember is the same thing I hope to hear and see from my kids some day. And that was the struggle I was having trying to turn the handle on the reel, trying as hard as I could not to let go of the rod because it was my dad's favorite rod, crying (not literally) out to my dad to take the rod because it was too big and hard for me to reel in. And I distinctly remember his response...."you're doing good son...just keep reeling and hold on tight"...as he and my mom tried not to laugh at my struggle against nature. We got that pike in, although my dad finished bringing it in. It weighed 6lbs according to the old fish scale of that era. I'll never forget it as it was the first time I had ever laid my two hands on a rod and reel while a fish was on the end of the line.

That was the only time my family got to fish in those days, just the one week trip to Canada. Then when I turned 8 years old I went on a trip to the cities with my dad to pick up our very first boat. I don't remember the brand name, but it was about 17' long, tri-hull fiberglass with red & white colors and had an 85hp Chrysler outboard on the back end of it. The only thing I remember about that day was asking my dad how much it cost, and I'll never forget it, he took out a 50-cent piece from his pocket and said "this much". Well, I didn't know much about money back then, but when I saw that silvery looking coin glisten in the light, I thought it must have cost a fortune! Little did I know! Still though, about the only time we would take that boat on the water was when we went up to Canada.

A few years after getting that boat, my dad went super hi-tech, to be on the cutting edge of fishing technology and bought our first green-box locator. Man what a beauty that was. We were fishin' in style with the best of them now! Little did I realize, those darn suction cups that were mounted on the wooden block didn't hold for very long, so guess who got to be the transducer holder? Yep, your's truly! tongue.gif

As I got older to between the ages of 10 and 12 I learned to cast a daredevil pretty darn good and was catching all kinds of pike on my own up in Canada. About that same time though, we moved into our newly built house on the world-renouned Lake Titloe right here in grand central Gaylord! crazy.gif

I quickly found out that this lake had some really quality fish in it...bullheads and carp! Now, some may think of these as junk fish, but when you're about 12 years old and the only time you ever got to fish was one week out of the year, this living situation was absolutely heavan! I fished pretty near every day down on the shore. I'd get up early before school and fish until my mom would come and nearly grab me by the ear to get ready, then when I got home from school I'd be back on the shore casting my line back out, lifting all kinds of rocks around the garden and digging all kinds of holes with the pitchfork gathering up angleworms and fishing until dark. Bullheads really bite well after sunset you know!!!!

I'd have to say this was the turning point in my life when it came to fishing, and hunting for that matter, because I got my first bb gun when I was 10 and had a nice piece of woods to go test my markmenship on all kinds of different things (which I won't name).

When I hit 15 my mom and dad traded in our old tri-hull and got a new v-hull boat. Thank goodness because I couldn't afford to be any shorter than I am now! grin.gif We got a Crestliner Angler with a 50hp Evinrude, a 9.9 Evinrude and an Interphase 20-20 (?) LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY graph locator! Yeeehaaaa....back on the cusp of fishing technology!!

Wow, after getting that boat, we were out fishing a lot more often around here. Not only because we had what it took, but not long after that, yep, I got my driver's license! grin.gifgrin.gif

Now at this point, I was REALLY getting into fishing, along with my dad. If we were going to fish, we wanted to be on the leading edge of technology and fishing tactics! Stage front....que in the In-Fisherman show!!!! We were really in the "know" now! We always had to go to church when the show came on, but thank the Maker for the invention of the VCR!! Wooohooo! Now we could watch Al when ever we wanted, as many times as we wanted! And boy did we ever get a collection of vhs tapes of In-Fisherman....and Babe Winkleman too! Soon we had In-Fisherman magazines flying through the door along with Fins & Feathers, Outdoor Life, and I'm sure a couple others. And, I'm happy to say, that we actually started to catch walleyes on a more consistent basis....only....it was STILL up in Canada. We would catch a few here and there around the Hutchinson area, but not all that many. So we started to wonder why we weren't getting to be as good as the Lindner's. It wasn't until years later that we figured out they were fishing on some of the best walleye lakes in the Country! confused.gifgrin.gif Oh, and I think them being probably about the best there ever has been, has something to do with it too. smirk.gif

Well, to keep an already long story a little less long, I'm happy to say that my dad still has that Crestliner he bought in 1987, although in 1994 he put a new set of motors on the boat...a 75hp Mariner and a 9.9 Mariner. Man did we feel like we were setting the water on fire in that boat, especially since it's only a little better than 16'!

After graduating from college I got a job and within a couple years I bought my first boat. A Warrior with a 150 Optimax, a 9.9 kicker, a Minnkota bow-mount and a Lowrance X65. I felt like I was right back on the cusp of fishing technology! grin.gif I just wish my fishing success would have proven that! blush.gif

And now, in the past 5 years, I've gotten married and have 2 wonderful kids...a 2 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. We sold our boat last year, but next year we'll be buying another one! Back to the leading edge of fishing technology!! Wooohoooo!

But, although I'm certain to spend between $35,000 and $40,000 on our next boat, I'll ALWAYS remember the days of fishing bullheads and carp off my parent's shoreline with simply a fiberglass rod, the old "baitcast" reel with the old black braided fishing line that was probably 80lb test. Just me, my rod, a hook, sinker and angleworm is all it took to get me hooked on the greatest sport ever created, the sport of fishing. And still, to this day, I go to my parent's house and fish for the elusive bullhead and carp...only now days I'm using $150 worth of fishing rod/reel! grin.gif

So that's it. That's my story. What is yours, if I may ask? I'm 33 years old right now, and would love to hear from people of my age, or younger, but especially older. It's always interesting to hear how the "old timers" did it "way back when".

Hope I didn't offend anyone by putting up such a huge post. Just got to thinking and had to write about it.



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Great story Basscatcher, here's my tale.

I have always loved the outdoors, but most of my time has been spent enjoying it from the seat of a snowmobile. My dad was not into fishing or hunting. I think a lot of it had to do with his father’s love for fishing and hunting. His relationship was more of a rebellion against anything his father wanted him to do. Being a teenager in the late 50’s and early 60’s meet hot rods and rock & roll. This did not sit well with his father.

This formed my childhood more than anything. I remember my grandfather taking my brother and I to the lake. We would catch the usual crappie, perch, or sunfish, but never a northern, walleye, or bass. I even vaguely remember a trip to Mille Lacs (circa 1975/76?) but I don't remember any Walleyes. The few trips we took were mainly from the age of five to nine. During this time my dad was seriously involved in racing top fuel funny cars in the Midwest. Not a lot of kids had the chance to travel around racing cars of this nature.

If we weren’t at the race shop we were snowmobiling. I had my first snowmobile at the age of five and our family of four would snowmobile every weekend in the winters. Again, not a lot of kids took trips all over Minnesota and Wisconsin to ride their own snowmobiles.

Since my fishing as a kid consisted mainly of small pan fish, by the time I was ten, I had enough fishing and focused on sports, cars, and snowmobiles.

Flash forward to about seven years ago. My brother got back into fishing. He was always fishing and doing quite well. What I didn’t realize at the time was how much time he was putting in learning how to fish for anything other than pan fish. Not to say I don’t like pan fish, I just wanting to see some bigger fish.

Until about three years ago, I would occasionally go fishing with him, but I was still very serious about snowmobiling and now I had a new distraction. I was now a father with new responsibilities. As my free time and our winters started to disappear, and since my brother had a family too, we started getting together more and we would go fishing. This started the bug. Most of our fishing was on the ice and once I caught my first northern on a tipup, I was hooked. I didn’t think people caught anything other than pan fish. This led to the desire to repeat this feeling over and over.

I wanted to get out as much as I could. Another friend from college had a boat and we would get together a couple times a year. We would cast (hence the name caster) spinner baits for northerns and bass. Since this was productive and easy to do, fishing started to be an enjoyable activity.

In the last three years, my fishing has come a long ways. I feel I know what I am doing (even if the fish don’t) and if something isn’t working, I have confidence to try something new (location, lure, or technique). It has grown into an obsession. I bought a boat in the fall of 2004 which was something I said I would never do. Boats are too much work and too big of a hassle. Now I use my boat nearly every other day in the summer.

I too have been into the gear, a lot of which I have learned about right here on this site. The boat is loaded with way too much gear. Really, how many poles does a guy need to catch a fish? I also have all the stuff for ice fishing: a full equipped flipover portable with tow hitch for the snowmobile, Marcum LX-5, Aquaview, and again way too many poles and lures. (The fish don’t like these lures anymore, I really need these new ones!)

Fishing has now become the focus of my free time. I now plan vacations around the fishing season. I love the challenge, the scenery, the experiences, and the time with friends and family. I wish I could have experienced this earlier in life, but then maybe I wouldn’t love it so much now.

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That's awesome caster! Fishing has really been a passion in my life for quite some time, but like you say, I've got my other passions too which includes my wife and kids. Hopefully I can pass on to them the love I have for this sport, and hopefully it will take. If they have an ounce of my blood in them, I'm sure it will. grin.gif

Thanks for sharing! That's a great story too!

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I can't remember my first fish, I was a little too young. My father was a lather/plasterer and liked to go hunting and fishing.

My first recollection of fishing comes from my brother and I going down to the local creek and cathing big chubs using grasshoppers for bait. We would grab our poles and a couple of hot dogs and we were set for the day.

Shortly after we got serious into fishing my mother or father or both would drop my 2 brothers and I off at Silver Lake here in Rochester for a day of fishing. We caught everything from crappie, sunnies, northern, carp, turtles, silver bass, LGmouth, SMmouth and carp. The carp were always our favorite. We would walk around the lake looking for the rooting up the bottom and then drop a line with whole kernel corn for bait and hold on. Sometimes we were able to catch the big beasts and sometimes they would take all of our line. EIther way it was a ball.

From there we graduated to fly fishing for trout in the Whitewater and walleye fishing on the MIssissippi.

Now I go pretty much anywhere and target the eyes as my favorite but I'm not adverse to catching some nice crappie, bass or northern.

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I just talked to my mom about this a few weeks ago. I guess she said that I would take my little fishing pole into our unfinished basement and just cast and cast. I think she said I was around 2 1/2 years old. I guess my dad must have done a good job getting me started early!!!

At the age of 8 I was the proud owner of my first boat (6 foot raft) and at 14 I had a 12footer with a 5.5 horse. Now just last year at 19 I bought a 16ft crestliner. Man if I keep it up at this rate I will have a 22ft musky boat in no time. (okay probably not, it turns out college costs alot of money.)

anyways, for some reason I decided it would be a great idea to switch over from walleye fishing to musky fishing when I was 18, man was that a mistake. It turns out that those musky lures cost way more than jigheads and lindy rigs. grin.gif

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I'm Roughfisher.

I was also born in 1972, just like you. I can't remember catching my first fish, but it was when I was about 4 years old.

My norwegian family has been subsisting on fishing and hunting since they left Hell, Norway. I shoot a lot of deer and ducks and fish and such and have been doing so all my life.

I've been through the normal fishing cycles. I started out a panfish and bass fisherman, then fished walleyes, then moved to catfish, and then trout. I caught 17 inch crappies, 6 pound bass, 30 inch walleyes, 20 pound channel cats, and 28 inch trout. When I was 11 years old I caught my first sturgeon and I'm on about number 25 with the 50 pounder I caught a coupla months ago.

I got big into trout fishing for awhile and have mastered every major insect hatch and I learned the latin names of all the insects. I quit flyfishing for trout and now I fish them with live frogs. I caught 18 walleyes on my flyrod on 18 consecutive casts. Carp fishing, I caught 4 fish over 25 pounds in an hour. My biggest pike is only 19 pounds.

I don't give a crap about pike under 15 pounds, walleye under ten pounds, or carp under 30 pounds. But I will camp all night in freezing rain and huddle in a space-blanket to catch a 1-pound northern hogsucker. I would cut off both of my legs with a rusty chainsaw to be guaranteed to catch a quillback carpsucker, because nobody can do it, period. I fixed up an old nine-horse merc to help me get around, but all of the good fishing that is left in this world is in places where all the chumps with big boats can't get to, so I usually use a canoe to get me back in the sticks. The 14-foot rowboat with the nine-horse merc is too big to get to anyplace where there are decent fish. I don't use any technology, just my brain. Except ice fishing, you gotta have a Vex for that. Lakers, burbot, and whitefish, plus as many crappies as I could ever eat.

In my philosophy, if you need a whole bunch of technology to catch fish, then you're not a fisherman. The best fish-catching technology we have invented is electric shockers, dynamite, and gillnets. Why beat around the bush. If all you want to do is catch fish then get a commercial license and go net them.

But any man who can catch three quillbacks fair-hooked in a single day is a real man. Why? Becuase nobody has ever done it in the history of the world. There are ten thousand people alive today who have caught a ten-pound walleye, me among them. That's baby sh*t. That's for the tourists. You can read how to do it in a book, just like you can read about how to catch big trout, or muskies, or bass in a book. Or you can rent one of the thousand DVD's about how to do it. If you can read how to do it in a book, then I don't want to do it, because it means somebody else already did it. That's why you find me goin' after 20-pound Greater Redhorse with clams, and fishin' longnose gar after dark on the St. Croix, and puttin' down quillback baits for 15 hours at a time, and sightcasting to 80 pound native buffalo.

I done run out of things to do, and I'm sick of fighting at the boat ramp for to launch out to catch a limit of wimpy 4 pound walleyes or 1 pound crappies. There are plenty of rivers left that nobody fishes. Redhorse tastes better than bluegill, and whitefish tastes better than crappie. I'm gonna break the bowfin record before I die, and that's a gol-durned promise.

I'm trying to find a way to fix mooneyes so they are edible, but so far they just taste like sh*t.

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I used to catch sunnies off the dock of my parents cabin when I was around 10 with grandma.. then she passed on and I didn't fish again. Until 2 years ago when I was already 38! I had stored an old 14' Lund boat (from that now long since sold cabin) for around 15 years.. just stored it.. and decided to finally just DO IT and bought a new 15hp Johnson at Maplewood Marine on a whim in 2004- one of the best whims I've ever had in my life!... it was one of those 'Tis easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission' sort of deals...

Thanks to this site.. as well as a few books and the many outdoor TV channel shows.. I have gone WILD the last 2 summers and now am so totally hooked on bass fishing- and learning more every time I go out.

I got the motor since now we have a 6 y/o boy and 4 y/o girl and I hated to see that boat collecting algae and mosquitoe larva out in the backyard. Now it's super clean and has all the latest electronics and a nice carpeted deck... we have had more fun the last two summers than I have had in the last 25 summers!

Being a teacher is certainly a bonus as well for open water fishing. I have taught for 12 years now and still am very sad I spent my first 10 summers sitting around with that boat in the backyard. Years I can never make up!

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Roughfisher, that post has to be one of the most hypocritical, sanctimonious piles of rubbish I've ever read, and I've read a few. It's a joke, right??? I mean, you can't be serious...

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Uh oh, this thread may be destined for the Outdoor/Clean-ups forum... shocked.gif

Well, at the risk of making this a clique, I was also born in '72 - 20 miles outside Washington DC in Southern Maryland. So, I grew up fishing the Chesapeake Bay, farm ponds, the muddy Potomac... Lots of rock jetty fishing in the Chesapeake. Dad would take me fishing out there, I learned to cast with a big bait shorecaster and a long, heavy action rod at 8 years old. Rockfish, White Perch, and Spot were common from the bay, with the odd crab now and then if you left your bait on the rocks below too long. I never got back into any reserviors inland.

Then, life got pretty sketchy family-wise, and to make a long story short, I ended up in southern Minnesota when I was 12. I saved enough scratch from mowing lawns to get a closed face Zebco combo, since my rough-n-tumble Chesapeake Bay rig was lousy for fishing the Blue Earth River and Lura Lake. In a year, I upgraded to a spinning rig, and from then on, I was hooked on this "Minnesota-style" of fishing.

I fished throughout high school, and jumped at every chance to get out in someone else's boat, since no one in my whole extended family had one. Spent lots of hours on the Blue Earth river, Bass Lake, and Lura Lake. Fished annually in a skunkworks summer Blue Earth river biggest carp tourney us kids organized, throwing $5 each into the pot.

In college in Mpls, I became a regular at the U of M River Flats on the Mississippi. Every now and then, I'd get a fishing partner to make the long drive (for a college student's budget) out to Medicine Lake park, rent a canoe and have at 'er.

As a working adult with a family now, I'm a typical love-to-fish Minnesotan with not near enough time to do it up right. Picked up an aluminum boat and trailer and old motor. Living in Wright County near all these lakes makes it much easier to keep my game up. It wasn't until I moved out to Wright that I took up ice fishing - been into that for 5 or so years now. My first ice fishing experience was the Glenwood Lake Minnewaska All Scout Ice fishing derby, went with our Cub Scout pack.

Last summer, I got hooked on reef fishing and deep sea fishing in Florida, my first saltwater experience. Dolphin, yellowtail and lane snapper makes a fishfry unlike any other I've ever had!

Looking forward, there are possible relocation plans in the 3-7 year long term - perhaps to Chicagoland, but if we have our way, to the southwest US. Either way, fishing will change for me again - if Chiacgoland, I'll have Lake Michigan to ramp up on. If the southwest US, I'll have to learn about reservior fishing, and I'll have to finally give in and pick up fly fishing skills.

My life fishing theme is GEOGRAPHIC VARIETY so far. wink.gif

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Carp fisher, your story is very intersting. Maybe some day I will make it to that level, but for now I am working on getting the 22ft boat.

here is my story,

When I was a kid both my parents worked, so I was always stuck in day care, except for in the summer when they would send me off to YMCA day camp near Monticello that had several lakes on the property. I started out there at about five years old, at about six or seven I started bringing a fishing pole every day. I think my first fish was a sunfish, but what really got me going was catching a dogfish. Seeing that monster got me hooked for life.

My father never fished untill I got him into it. We got a canoe when i was about 8 and then a 16ft boat when I was 12.

I used to fish mostly for panfish when I was a kid, a can of corn and a push button reel. after a while I got tired of that and then started fishing bass and northerns.

From about 12-16 my father and I would fish the metro lakes for bass and northerns, we wern't very good but went out alot. I usually caught more fish because I tried harder.

That was about the time that fishing took over my life. I would read every fishing book I could get a hold of and watch fishing on TV whenever it was on. At that time I had a few good science teachers and learned about the scientific method. I have used that as my philosophy of fishing ever since. Also at that time I ralized that my goal in life is to become a professional fisherman.

During high school, my father and I started fly-fishing as well. We would go to southern MN untill we figured out the Wisconsin was a shorter drive and the fishing is better. My dad is now a big time fly-fisher and has since retired to northern arkansaw because of the excellent fly-fishing. My mom said that he started because I would always out fish him with conventional tackle and he wanted to beat me.

Needless to say I eventually finished high school[i think] and moved up to Duluth MN for college. There I swiched gears from Bass to Walleye fishing. I didn't take classes in the summer and I had the boat up there. One time I went out 13days straight. I also got more into musky fishing up there, my last summer we boated 23 up to 47in.

Unfortunaly after five years I graduated and now I have to work full time, so fishing has been cut back a bit. Had to move back to the cities also. The good thing about it is now I am not poor and will hopefully be getting a bigger boat soon.

Now, I live by the missisipi river so next summer I will be focusing on smallies and catfish. I work down town and will be making a few muskie casts every lunch hour in the summer.

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This story is a sad one !

Back in the winter of 1972 my wife and I were buying our first house. We already had a daughter and a son was on his way. Consequently, we had to look for a smaller home but one that had a good sized yard and in Mpls that's not easy.

Our realtor found us a place just off 94 in Bloomington on a dead end street that seemed perfect. Price was $23,850 with 2 bedrooms on main level.

When we went to see the house the owners weres till there and we got to talking. The man foudn out I liked to hunt and fish and started regailing me with how the happist times he ever had was when his father took him fishing when he was a young boy. His father died early and he hadn't been fishing since. But they bought a cabin up North and he was planning to go fishing every day.

The Fall of 1973 the previous owners wife stopped by to say Hi and see what we had done to the house. After a few minutes conversation over coffee she informed us that her husband had committed suicide.

Seems that fishing never lived up to what he imagined it to be. One day he just took the boat out and in the middle of the lake put a bullet in his head. The note he left said fishing was never as much fun as when he was fishing with his father and he just couldn't take it any longer.


Needless to say this is another case of putting off till tomorrow what you should be doing today. Enjoy life, go fishing now, get your family and friends involved and don't wait until your expectations are so high that nothing can ever live up to them.

Somewhere I hope he and his father are now fishing together and enjoying it.

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Started out fishing off grandpa's dock and his rental boats on a small lake by Alexandria in the sixties. Family moved to the Twin Cities in 1968. My brother and I would bike to Minnetonka to shore fish when ever we had a chance. When I was about 12 we started going to Leech lake for a week every summer with the family. My Dad brother, uncle and I would fish walleyes or muskies 10 hours a day out of the resort boats. In the mid seventies I got my drivers liscense and the first ever issue of In-Fisherman magazine and away we went. My brother and I bought a 12 foot aluminum boat with a 9.9 on it and started running around MN and Wisconsin fishing every weekend. Graduated to a 16 foot alumacraft with a 40 hp then to a 18 foot Lund with a 75 hp. Alexandria, Park Rapids, Grand Rapids, Walker, Brainerd and Hayward Wisconsin were our favorite stomping grounds. Managed to spend some time chasing smallmouth in the BWCA and trolling for salmon and trout in Lake Michigan. The last 12 years marriage, kids and divorce have limited the out of town trips so I have been fishing many of the lakes in the north metro. Fishing has provided a way to pull family and friends together, many wonderful experiences to reminisce over, opportunities to enjoy the great scenery and resources of Minnesota, stress relief from every day life, a challenge and something to always to look forward to.

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Alright, here goes.

Lunker, member since 00'(yea, been around a while grin.gif)

Born in 1985(yea, just a babe). Grew up in Minneapolis. Started fishing as soon as I could hold a pole. Luckily one of my older brothers had a wife who's family owned land in Itasca county on Balsam Lake. Started my fishing days there, and my family still has framed photos of me when I was 3 years old holding my first northern pike, who knows how old I was when I caught my first fish. When that brother divorced I was fortunate enough that my parents bought a 5 acre parcel with a cabin on that very same lake. We still own that land, and my some of my best fishing and hunting days have been had up there. Learned about fishing pike, crappie, and gills there, not much bass to speak of, which is my favorite species.

Growing up in MPLS wasn't all that bad for fishing though. I lived right next to Nokomis and Hiawatha, the minnehaha creek, and the river. Started bass fishing at about age 11 on nokomis, and that passion exploded from there.

As far as Ice fishing goes, my father, brother and I would fish Mille Lacs once a year on MLK day. I took off with that sport at about age 15, and haven't looked back since.

Once I was able to drive, my fishing and hunting really branched off and was aided my the fact I had a station wagon grin.gif.

When my bro got back from the army and made some money, he bought a bass boat, and we started fishing the LETS tourney's, having a blast, we did that for two years. Now he's back in the military, and I have to work with the 12ft jon boat I bought to aid in my fishing and hunting. I hope that I can get back into the tourney fishing once out of school.

Graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 04, and decided to attend Stevens Point WI. Why? Great college of natural resources, and great fishing and hunting oppurtunities around the city. My major? Fisheries of course, what else would I want to do?

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  • 1 month later...

I was born in 1972 in Anoka. My father had grown up in a small town in Northern Minnesota (Marcell)and did not want to raise his children in the Cities. When I was 2 we moved to Grand Rapids and he started his own framing business.

The first memories of fishing that I have are spearing suckers on the 1st of May on my grandparents land. They had a creek on their land that came out of North Star that eventually goes to Bowstring. The first of May was always a holiday from school for us. I remember spearing many suckers, cleaning them and smoking them with my grandfather. He would can them and eat the meat all year.

When I was about 5 years old my dad had framed a house for a man that was big into walleye fishing lakes like Winnie, Lake of the Woods, Red Lake...... His name is Jack. Jack would take dad, myself and my older brother out fishing with him from time to time. I absolutly loved it. Growing up during my school years Jack would know when I was on Christmas break and he would take me ice fishing to Red or Lake of the Woods. I really owe him a huge thanks. He steered my dad into fishing witch in turn got me started fishing.

After a couple of years of fishing with Jack, my dad bought a old 14 foot Lund from his uncle and we started fishing more of the local lakes like Splithand.

When I was in the 6th grade dad bought a 16 foot Lund WS-16 with a 40 horse Evenrude on it. He still has this boat and uses it every year. We started going to Canada at Cedar Point Lodge on Cedar Lake. We went there every summer that I can remember until I graduated high school in 91. I have a ton of great memories of this place. I caught my biggest walleye to date on that lake. A 30 inch 10 pound walleye. It is on the wall at my parents house.

From the time I was old enough to walk in the woods I also deer hunted with my father in the Marcell area. I can remember going trick or treating and saving all of my candy for the hunting season. Dad and I would sit in the woods and share a piece of candy. My dad likes to tell the story of the first deer I was involved with taking. We were sitting on a log eating candy and taking a break when a doe came running by. I yelled, "Daddy theres one". What I had not seen was the buck following the doe. When I yelled the buck stopped in it s tracks not knowing where the sound had came from and dad shot it. I will never forget that day.

I now live in Big Lake and work in St Paul. I do have my own boat these days and try to get out a much as I can. Fishing with my neighbors, my wife and of course my father. I have only missed one opener with my dad in 25 years.

I eventually became interested in waterfowl hunting. I now travle to Canada twice a year to hunt ducks and geese. I still deer hunt in Marcell. I usually make anougher hunting trip every year to Iowa for deer and pheasants.

I am a very lucky man to have grown up in the area that I did and be able to have the experiances that I have had.

Thanks Dad


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My turn!

I was born in Mpls in 1978 and moved to northern suburbs when I was 2. I,like most everyone else grew up fishing with my dad. We did not have a cabin but my great grandpa did. The cabin was on lake Francis in wright county and it is where I grew up fishing. Every year when my family took vacation that is where we went until the cabin was sold when I was about 10. The fishing really slowed after that. My dad would take me out to lake Francis when he was on vacation in the boat that he was given by my grandpa. We caught northers, big bass and crappie out of the lake and I looked forward to it every year. I also began duck hunting with dad every fall. I also grew a great passion for waterfowl hunting as well as fishing. As I grew into my teens the fishing boat broke down and dad could not afford to fix it. At this point we turned to waterfowl hunting, and as the years passed it was all we did. Six of us would go every weekend with me and my dad in the same boat. As the years went on the hunting on our little honey hole was just great to say the least. Well, my cousin who lived in the area got the word out and soon after that we were fighting with large groups of people to hunt what we thought was the best spot around. My dad soon lost interest in both fishing and hunting because my family started to make more money and he wanted to play golf. I was now around 16 and I could drive. I became better friends with a guy that I played hockey with growing up and found out that he has that fishing fever that I have. I spent the rest of high school fishing everyday with this guy. We fished in my duck boat with a trolling motor on back. I went to college with this friend and we worked at gander mountain together and fished in our free time. It was great! We fished lake francis and called it lake x because we caught so many big fish out of there and did not want others to know about it.

I am now 27 and was married in aug of 2004. I bought a 2004 lund explorer 2 weeks before my wedding and a new truck 1 week after it (what a great wife I have). Since I bought the boat I have fished a lot and nothing but the big pond. My friend and I still fish a lot together, but I wish I could pull my dad away from the golf course just once to get him to see what its like to fish again.

My wife and I own a house, I am doing what I have dreamed of doing for a living (police officer), and I have my first child on the way (due aug 28).

So, I need to get as much fishing in this year as possible.


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WOW... I am feeling like an old fart here. I was born in 1954 and yes snowgoose I graduated high school the year you were born! My dad got me started hunting and fishing. We used to go up and stay at a resort for a week every year and do noting but fish. Have an OLD green Johnson Seahorse 5hp motor that we used to use on the resort boats. Some great memories of those old days! First time I went duck hunting with my dad there was a he11 diver swimming in front of us and dad told me to shoot it. I thought that it should be flying to shoot it but he said those did not fly much. I shot it and it laid there. I said OK, now how do we get it? He said well, it’s only a he11 diver we will leave it there. I was hooked! Spent many days out at Oak Leaf Lake near Nicollet MN hunting ducks with my dad and my buddies. Then I went into the Air Force and was gone for 25 years. I saw the world, 13 different countries and every state of the nation, but I missed out on spending a lot if time with my dad! After I retired and got back here to MN we started hunting again and always had a great time… ducks or no ducks. I remember the times that we would have Wood Ducks land in the decoys and manage to miss them all! We would just laugh and have another cup of coffee. Hunted the last few years with three generations in the boat, dad, me, and my son. We shared many a beautiful sunrise together as well! My dad passed away in Aug so I did not feel like doing much duck hunting this year. Went out a few times with my son and we had a great time but dad was missing! Now I am the dad and I will take my son out just as often as I can. He is already talking about taking hunting and fishing trips so I guess I better start saving my money. Every sun up I think of dad and the hours that we shared in the duck blind… sure do miss that guy. I have to stop now. Have a good one and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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You are not that much older Duckslayer, I was born in "57". I was raised on the south end of Cedar lake in Scott county where Cedar Lake Farms is now. I remeber at 5 or 6 years going down to the lake to fish bullheads at night when we were milking cows.

What hooked me on icefishing, at 10 years old, my dad took me along up to Mille lacs in a snow storm all the way up. We got stuck on the lake with the truck, and they took the snowmobiles to look for the wheeled fishhouse, when they came to get me we only went about 200 feet. After we got there, Ivan showed me how to set everything and bait the hooks and then lights out. He said if I went to sleep I wouldn't catch any fish. This little boy didn't have to wait long to catch his 1st walleye. Oh the sweet sound of the tink, tink of the bells in the rattle reels and I was up to catch another fish. I missed alot, but in the morning I had 17 walleye in the cooler. I had the biggest smile ever.

I was told years later that Dad, Ivan and the others were laying in bed watching me every time I get up, even gave me a little push out of bed if needed. That time hooked me for good.

In 1967 to have a wheeled fishhouse like Ivan's was one of the first, I glad Ivan and Dad took the time to pass on this sport. To think of how much every thing has changed is crazy. I think I have done my part in teaching my kids about fishing. Just seeing the big smiles they get somedays makes me think I did OK. wink.gifcool.gif

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Well, mines a little shorter than everyone elses, I was born in 1989, March 20th acctually, turned 17 3 days ago...

Going to school at Cathedral High School in new ulm, play football and baseball, looking into carpentry for a career....anyways enough of the boring stuff....

Caught my first fish on Madison Lake, off my aunt and uncles dock, like most it was a sunfish, about five minutes later I dropped the rod in the water....that got dad a bit fired up, being 5 I was a little shaken up....

Started fishing alot more as I got older, when I was 8 dad bought a 14 ft lund with a 30 horse motor, it moved along pretty good, lost a few hats to that one, that motor has since been traded for a 15 horse, really a shame......

Some of my best memories were catching fish in the runoffs flowing from Lake Hanska, one time I broke a rod, which again got dad a little angry, but low and behold one of his friends showed up and I got to use his rod, which was nicer than the one I had and I think started the fire to own expensive things I can't afford....

When I was getting into 6th and 7th grade I started to get an itch to go hunting, I had been exposed to guns for along time and tagged along with dad from time to time, when I was 10 I started to carry a gun along pheasant hunting, but it was always unloaded, I had to be safe with an empty gun for the whole season before I could hunt.....

That summer I saved up enough money to buy my own gun, a Remington 1100-LT 20 ga, before the next season rolled around dad started me trap shooting and although I wasn't very good, I loved doing it.

That year out hunting I bagged my first bird on a cold November morning, got him on my first shot, which wasn't really a sign of things to come....

Then I was back to fishing down on the river, I would bike down there every free moment, caught lots and lots of carp and sheepies, then moved on to pitching jigs for walleyes, but I still love to dunk some corn and sit on a culvert waiting for old carpie to swim by.

Shot my first deer my first season out, also on my first shot, but it's gone downhill from there....

On about a year ago, I got my drivers licesences, opened up many new doors to me, started to fish and hunt on my own more, I've been working on improving my bass and walleye fishing skills and this year will be working on plastics for panfish more, pheasant hunting is my real passion though, had a pretty good year this year, shot 14 as well as one partridge, my first. Also started goose and duck hunting in the last few years as well, dad doesn't hunt waterfowl, but I have fallen in love with that sport as well.

Well thats pretty much my life story, one more year of highschool left, one more football season, can't wait to get back into the gear one more time.....

O I forgot about ice fishing, yep I do way to much of it if you ask my parents at least. I'd say I've got the big 4, power auger, underwater camera, LX-3, and portable house. I catch some fish, but my main goal is to learn something every time out. Built a permantent last year, 7X10 on skids, not a fun thing to get on a snowmobile trailer.......O well, young and dumb, story of my life really.... tongue.gif

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It’s interesting to read how people got started in hunting and fishing. My first memory of fishing is digging worms with my grandfather. He died in 1956 so I must have been about 6 years old at the time. I started fishing with my dad in rented rowboats. Picture this, two kids with cane poles “trolling” out the side while our dad rowed the boat. Now that’s a real desire to fish. We eventually got a 12 foot aluminum boat that we carried on top of the 52 Plymouth. About 45 years ago, my dad bought a 16 foot Crestliner and trailer (I think he paid around $300). He also bought a 6hp West Bend motor. Now for the best part, he has used this combo every year since and plans to continue using it this year. For the record he is 88 years old but that will not stop him from going fishing at least twice a week during the summer. I do a fair amount of fishing and most people find it hard to believe I do not own a boat. I have to be invited or invite myself to go fishing with my dad, son, son in law, or any of my friends that have a boat.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Caden132321
      Wasn’t quite sure how this week would turn out because of all the reviews but have had a blast and caught some awesome fish. Very weedy in most of the lake canoe out to less weedy area and fished around the weeds caught multiple 4  even heavier bass in a row definitely recommend it
    • MarkB
      Del, I want to clarify my post regarding the Vermilion Club pizza. First of all, the latest online review for the Vermilion Club was July 4th, 2021. I ate there twice after that review. Both times our group ate pizza and both times the pizza was excellent. I've eaten Poor Gary's pizza for a very long time both when we visited for many years, when we lived on Birch Point, and every time we're there since we left. I could tell a Vermilion Club pizza with a blindfold on. It has a very distinct taste and smell. We absolutely love it. BUT, this time it was different. I even asked our waitress if Poor Gary's pizza had been replaced by new owners. None of our group thought the pizza was even close to what it had been. Now, I'm not knocken the Vermilion Club. I ate there way back in the late 50's when George and Dorothy Tuma owned it. They have always served great food and I have no reason to doubt that their appetizers, sandwiches, etc. are still great. Just understand that pizza and other food is made in 2 different kitchens. I don't know what changed with the pizza kitchen since last September when we were there before this latest trip but something did. I wouldn't hesitate to go back and eat there again. But next time, it'll be on wings night.
    • Mike89
      only you smurf!!!  🤣😎
    • smurfy
      😊mom taught me at an early age not to pee on the furniture!!😉
    • Pat McGraw
      Almost every time I go to the VC I comment on how well they do. Consistently good food and good service. 
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...  Resorts are adapting to high water conditions.  Despite lots of water, the vast majority of resorts are open, charter boats are running, and summer fishing is in full swing. Most boat ramps are open including Wheeler's Point and others.  Call ahead to your favorite resort or check their Facebook page for specifics. Lots of walleyes being caught in many different locations.  Some fish are in 4-15 feet on sand capitalizing on shiner and minnow spawning.  Others are on shallow rocks eating crayfish.  Others are deeper, 25 - 33', feeding on schools of minnows and various critters coming out of the mud.     Some anglers are still jigging, but drifting with spinners with a crawler or minnow has been super effective this week.  Both methods are working.  Gold, glow, and pink have been good colors this week for jigs and spinners. Trolling crankbaits and covering water has been very effective this past week.  Shiny gold and purple are a couple of good colors.  In addition to walleyes and saugers, pike, smallmouth bass and even an occasional muskie are being caught.   Anglers are allowed a combined limit of 6 walleyes and saugers on the MN side of LOW.  Up to 4 can be walleyes.  All walleyes between 19.5 - 28.0" must be released.  One allowed over 28" per day.   On the Rainy River...   The river still has a lot of current.  Anglers keying in on current breaks as a rule.   A mixed bag in the river right now includes walleyes, saugers, smallmouth bass, and pike.  Sturgeon season reopens July 1st.   Current breaks off of the main channel for walleyes and saugers.  Smallmouth bass near rocky areas, feeder streams and bridge embankments.   Bays have been good for pike.  Lots of big pike and even good walleye reports in bays and feeder rivers to the Rainy River.  Lots of shiners in the river. Up at the NW Angle...  Fishing continues to be very good up at the Angle.  Anglers are fishing both the U.S. side and Ontario side of the lake with good success. Flag Island flats and areas around Garden Island were just a couple of areas good this week.  Lots of walleyes with some mixed in pike.  Fish being caught jigging, pulling spinners and trolling crankbaits.   A jig and minnow and pulling crawler harnesses have been good fishing deeper structure as well.  Neck down areas, rocky points and cabbage weeds all holding fish.  There are typically some fish shallow near shore morning and evening with good numbers being caught. A mixed bag for most anglers with walleyes, saugers, pike, smallmouth bass, crappies and jumbo perch. Excellent muskie fishing with numbers of fish being caught. Various ways to travel to the Angle. 1.  Drive through Canada to the Angle  (must be vaccinated, no covid test required) 2.  LOW Passenger Service (charter boat service across the lake avoiding customs)  3.  Lake Country Air.(fly from various Midwest locations to LOW and NW Angle) 4.  Take your own boat.  (Safety first, this is a 40 mile ride over big water)  
    • Wanderer
      Nope, not there anymore.  Just don’t get up there enough anymore.  Sadly.   Taxes are cheap enough to not really worry about and still have it.     smurf does the pissin’.  I wouldn’t do a thing like that to good furniture. 😉
    • Mike89
      just off to the west is a State park and a lake access is in there too..    it's called Mille Lacs Kathio State Park
    • smurfy
      🤣 so you drove threw Remer then? home of sasquatch!!!!!!!!🤗👌
    • leech~~
      Funny, my wife and I drove by Big Rice on our way to Grand Rapids. I pointed to the launch and said, somewhere there's an old rotting couch in there, two clowns 🤡🤡 on the forum keep joking each other about pissing on. She said gross! Cuz that's what guys talk about on forums! 😆😅🤣
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