The 3rd Annual Minnesota Bound Invitational Bass Tournament is coming up at
Cragun’s Resort on beautiful Gull Lake.
The fun begins July 8th and you’re invited.
Starting at 10 a.m., on Cragun’s beach, there’s a fishing fair for kids.
And it’s all free.
Come evening, you’re invited to attend an Anglers Banquet at Cragun’s to
support the Minnesota Fishing Museum. It’s sponsored
by Rapala and North Star Imaging.
On Friday and Saturday, July 9th and 10th, come to the 3 p.m. weigh-in of
Gull Lake bass and see who wins the Minnesota Bound bass championship.
Will last year’s champ, Brad Lieferman defend his crown?
Could Ron, the host of Minnesota Bound, possibly win his own tournament?
Aaaahh, probably not.
For more information, go to mnboundinvitational.com and join the fishing
bash at Cragun’s.
Oh, yes, Raven will be there, too.
The 3rd Annual Minnesota Bound Invitational Bass Tournament is coming up at
A quick update on the life and times of....well, me.
Been fishing, which is a good thing. The only thing better is to fish with
a Legendary Angler ....and I’ve been doing that, too.
Gary Roach is his name; catching walleyes is his game. He’s been so good at
it he’s known wherever walleyes swim as.....(drumroll, please)....MR.
Gary Roach and I go back about four decades. First time we fished together
we caught....aaah, nothing. I think that’s the last time we caught nothing
Gary and I teamed up for the classic WaveWackers Walleye Tournament on
mighty Mille Lacs. We didn’t win but we caught lots of walleyes
including a 27 incher, which was only one inch shy of legal!
Over the two day tournament, which included strong winds and hours of rain,
Gary and I must have caught 50 walleyes, most of them either too little or
too big to be weighed at Fisherman’s Wharf, the tourney headquarters.
Okay, so we didn’t finish in the money but Mr. Walleye was a winner anyway.
He’s 70 plus in age and still out there beating the walleye chop and hauling
For sure, Gary Roach is Mr. Walleye and there’ll never be another.
I'm an old duck hunter from Minnesota. Oh, I know, you can't stand Minnesota duck hunters because we charge across the border every October and shoot YOUR ducks and lease YOUR duck hunting spots.
I understand. I wouldn't like it, either. I've had the same thoughts when I see North Dakota license plates parked at MY walleye lakes.
I've also watched your state leaders pass laws and other restrictions to make duck hunting more enjoyable for you and more miserable for nonresidents like me. I understand that, too, although the game of gouge nonresidents is out-of-control and is hurting the future of hunting in America.
But that's another story for another day.
I want you to know I love North Dakota. It's grand landscape; it's spectacular wetlands; its autumn skies.
I married a North Dakota woman. I love her, too.
And I'm fond of many North Dakota folks, farmers and townsfolk alike.
But I'm writing today to North Dakota duck hunters with one message: You ARE fools.
You are fools if you think that the invasion of Minnesota duck hunters is your biggest problem.
You are fools if you think North Dakota's duck landscape is never going to change.
You are fools if you think your North Dakota government will protect YOUR duck hunting future.
You are fools for not paying attention to what's happening in North Dakota and its WAR on wetlands.
Now, it's fair for a fool to ask if a fool is writing this letter. What prompted this diatribe?
As an old duck hunter I've seen Minnesota's wetlands slowly disappear or degrade. I've seen duck counts plummet…and the number of duck hunters followed suit.
I've also been watching to see if North Dakota duck hunters had learned anything by watching Minnesota duck demise?
Last winter I attended a fund-raiser in South Dakota to honor the late Tony Dean of radio and television fame. The plan is to purchase a waterfowl complex in Tony's name somewhere in South Dakota
Why not North Dakota? Tony was just as famous in North Dakota; he loved North Dakota. Why? Because North Dakota's laws make it almost impossible for a nonprofit organization to buy wetlands without strings attached or high hurdles to leap. And a North Dakota governor whose record for wetlands preservation ought to be embarrassing if you're a North Dakota duck hunter.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a headline in the Minneapolis newspaper: Nonprofit Must Sell N.D. Duck-nesting Land.
A nonprofit foundation, owned by a Minnesotan Jim Cook (for full disclosure, Jim Cook is a friend of mine) was ordered by the North Dakota Supreme Court to sell his duck land because the governor would not approve his purchase of farm land from a willing seller. Jim didn't buy the land to hunt on it; he only buys land to develop it for ducks.
Today in North Dakota, state laws remain stacked against anybody---U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, non-profit foundations --who only want to preserve North Dakota's great waterfowl history.
Ducks are heading for trouble in North Dakota.
And the fools are only watching.
By the time you read this, the Minnesota Legislature is likely to approve
legislation to lift a northern pike spearing ban on Cass Lake.
It's a political victory for pike spearers and it's a defeat for muskie
zealots who originally campaigned (and DNR agreed) to ban pike spearing on
Cass in an effort to protect the lake's muskies.
So now, with the ban lifted...the muskies of Cass no longer are protected
from cases of mistaken identity.
Does this mean Cass won't be the muskie mecca it is today? Nah, I think
enough muskies will never see a spear and, frankly, there aren't that many
folks these days throwing pitch forks through a hole in the ice. The
muskies will survive.
No, the loser in this old debate at the Legislature is..... Minnesota's big
It's the rarest game fish in Minnesota---those 10 to 20 pounders (larger
pike may be extinct) and our lawmakers decided to expose Cass lake lunker
pike to spears as well as lures. The difference is, of course, a fish
caught by hook can be released to swim again. A speared pike is a dead
Sadly, the War on Northern Pike needs more understanding by both spearers,
anglers and the Legislature. If we want to restore giant pike in Minnesota
we need to protect them completely. That means no spearing and no keeping
by anglers. We need to identify 20 to 40 lakes that are CAPABLE of
producing big pike and we need to make those lakes off-limits to spearing
and prohibit possession of pike by anglers.
This means hundreds of other lakes can remain open to spearing and open to
keeping by anglers.
But we must protect big pike in lakes capable of producing them.
Sadly, Cass Lake was one of those.
Wisconsin's fishing opener is now history....and, well, the 2010 version
won't be remembered for its great weather.
Wind and more wind. But no matter.
I had other good reasons to spend the opener at Hayward, Wis.
First, the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward sponsored its first
annual crappie contest on May 1 and invited me to emcee the weigh-in. It
was a windy weigh-in but crappies larger than 1.5 pounds appeared and a good
time was had by all.
Emmett Brown, who heads the Hall of Fame, said he thinks the Hall will
sponsor a second annual crappie contest next year when, hopefully, the wind
won't blow as much.
My second reason for headin' east was tradition. For years, a few
friends---consisting of brothers, Robert and Rick and Steve Herth, who
wishes he was a brother have attended the Wisconsin opener. Another friend,
Mark Bundgaard and his buddy, Andy, also are regulars.
Last Friday, we all gathered at Mystic Moose Resort on Moose Lake and the
party began. Funny thing, as the years have gone by, the opening eve party
doesn't last as long as it used to. Maybe we matured? (Not!)
At daylight, we were on the water of Moose and fighting wind instead of
lunker walleyes. By the end of the day, however, we had a dozen walleyes in
livewells and heading for the frying pan. They weren't big walleyes but
they were tasty walleyes.
By sunset, the wind was gone. The walleye fillets were gone, too. And our
fishing itch was scratched. Well, kinda.
Hey, Minnesota walleyes.....you're next!