Fishing fever: Catch it and pass it on

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2002

With the end of another school year we can welcome a summer full of activities for kids and adults. There are plenty of outdoor activities for kids to participate in: baseball, soccer, softball, swimming. These are all great but we shouldn’t forget the best one: fishing.

You don’t need a coach, a schedule or a team to enjoy the most relaxing sport for kids of all ages. All you need is some bait, a fishing pole and access to a lake or stream and you are set for summer’s worth of action, or non-action if you prefer.

On Saturday, June 8 the Fountain Lake Sportsman’s Club along with the Minnesota Conservation Department, DNR, are sponsoring the 11th Annual Take A Kid Fishing Contest. The event will be held on Fountain Lake near Katherine Island and will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Parents, you won’t need a license on this day to fish with your child. There will be fishing tips, knot-tying tips, safety tips and prizes to go along with the big prize, fishing.

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Plan on being there to encourage our youth to participate in the outdoors experience and share a little quality time.

Speaking of quality time, this past Memorial Day weekend I spent a lot of time with three of my grandsons at Lake Tetonka in Waterville. While the fishing was a little slow there were a few to be had, but none were as good as the one my third grandson, Dylan, caught. He caught his first fish, a small bass. He was excited but the look of pride that his dad, Brad, had on his face made me wonder if I had that same look when he caught his first fish.

I don’t think that anything makes me happier than to see one of my grandsons or even my sons catch a fish.

The next day Dylan asked me, &uot;Grandpa, could we go to where I caught my fish? He will be bigger now.&uot; We had told him we were letting him go to get bigger, so we could catch him later.

A couple of years ago my son, Brian and his family gave me a t-shirt for Father’s Day. It has a picture of a man and a young boy and the man is helping the boy with his fishing pole. The saying under the picture says, &uot;Pass it On&uot;. I think that is what it is all about, passing on the experience.

We should all remember to be conscious of our environment and don’t abuse it. Obey the rules and respect our resources and we will have something to &uot;Pass On.&uot;

The fishing in the state as a whole has been spotty, but is starting to heat up in some areas. Mille Lacs Lake seemed to be the hottest this past week with a lot of fish being caught but a lot of them being released because of the tight slot limit: 14 to 16 inches and one over 28.

Winnibigoshish and Leech Lakes have picked up the pace and are producing some good catches of fish. To the west Detroit Lakes has been a little slow but with this warmer weather has started to pick up.

If the temperatures remain stable the next couple of weeks could produce some real good fishing.

Locally there have been some crappie, sunfish and walleye being caught in the Faribault area.

Most of these are in shallow water of 6 feet or less.

In the Fairmont area there have been some crappie and sunfish reported along the shallow weed lines.

Here at home the fish I have seen are mainly crappie with a few perch thrown in. One person I know caught two crappie over 2 lbs.. fishing late in the evening but in an undisclosed location.

A true fisherman will give out a lot of information but will stop short of &uot;spilling his guts&uot; with too much detail.

I have a brother-in law that decided to get involved in camping and fishing again like he did when he was younger.

After a couple of years he regained his old touch and became quite adept at finding the pan fish. While I was staying at the campground one weekend he was telling me that he was getting a little frustrated because every time he went to his favorite spot there would be a boat or two from the campground fishing right in his favorite place.

I finally asked him if he had told anyone where he caught his fish. It turns out he not only told them where but how and on what bait, even down to the jig size and color.

I told him it’s O.K. to be a nice guy, but you have to draw the line at giving away all of your secrets. There has to be a little mystery left for the other guy to figure out.

He’s still willing to share information but has learned to generalize the knowledge.

Remember the &uot;Catch of the Week.&uot; If you catch a fish you are proud of, take a picture and bring it in to the Tribune.

&uot;Good Luck and Good Fishing.&uot;