Chet Meyers, fishing enthusiast, speaks about the fishing season and takes questions from listeners.
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(00:00:08) Sitting in baseball maybe the national Pastime but fishing is probably not far behind especially in Minnesota and surrounding states last year. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sold, 1 million 254,000 resident fishing licenses and 236,000 non-resident fishing licenses trout walleye and northern pike fishing seasons on streams and lakes are open the bass season opens this weekend musky seep season opens in just a few days. We'll Talk Angling in this hour of midday with Chet Myers Chet is a angling author and a professor of humanities and natural science at Metro State University. We also want to hear from you your questions for chet on fishing conservation's where to fish and you should feel free to to share some of your angling stories. Some of them can even be true you Reach us at one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or in the metropolitan area. The number is six five one 2276 thousand Chad Myers. Welcome to midday. Thank you. Nice to be here again. Well, how's the fishing? Well, it was a good opener surprisingly good opener. We've had not so many good openers in the past, but very different situation this year. We also because of the late spring late spring and the wall, I spawned later which meant that they were in the shallows and in the spawning area. So surprisingly some big females were cut big females usually aren't caught until weeks after I would like June weeks after the the spawn is done but it was so was a good opener on a lot of likes I was not out myself but from friends and people I talked to it's unlike was a good good opener. Well, we've had a really wet and cool season at least in most of Minnesota this year. What what's that done to the fishing? I mean you mentioned the the delay and spawning for walleye, but overall. Is there any way to assess the the climate and its impact Done the the way the fishing is gone this year. Well water temperatures are down in that means that fish activities is a little less. It means that the spawning is behind on this is the opening of bass season this weekend. I imagine basser still spawning in many areas. So it affects the fish's life cycle and it also affects the general activity when you've got falling temperatures like we had that really warm weather and then the water temperature really tailed off that can be bad news that can really so explain that a little bit well fish seem to act more positively to Rising water temperatures and activity than they do falling particularly bass. If you get a water temperature drops three or four degrees, I've seen bastard shut off completely so it might be a slow. It might be a little slower opener for for the for the bass and I was for the wallet now, what would be your recommendation for someone who wants to open the bass season this weekend? Where should they go? And what would be what would be the best approach do you think well, I would I would expect to find some bass in what we call a pre spawn Mode still. Means that they might be schooled up usually in the opener you're fishing for individual fish. You're not expecting to find big concentrations of fish. You might find some concentrations of fish. So usually in a spring open I get on a good Bass Lake. That's a good start. That's the play that's number one right? Make sure you're in a good bass like and I would cover a lot of ground and I should be fishing in the shallows a lot with little Spinners spinnerbaits little too cold for plastic worms right now. Maybe I'm innovate something right? I need you. What about top water fishing because I know friends who fly fish prefer to do the to fish poppers for bass. Is it too early for that? Do you think around it? It might be although if they're on if they're on the beds and protecting the beds they will they will slash at that. I wouldn't I think it might be a little too hard. I would try some top water right off the bat and if it doesn't work, then I'd go subsurface and it's quite a quite a cornucopia of fishing we have in this region. What is your what's your favorite species to fish for? Well, I love what's your choice? I'm like you I like I want this I really do. I think they fight better and I think they're just a wonderful honorable fish good admirable adversaries will be said hmm. And why is that is that just the their willingness to take your lure or is it something else that you're describing Love is in the eye of the beholder? Yeah. I'm not in love with fish. Do you say well, I mean, I know some people that just turn up their noses at Bass and do anything but while all eyes are even northern pike or popular for some people so I think it's pretty much Aesthetics but I like catching fish on the surface and Smallmouth are also available in rivers very available in rivers and and a lot of good like sand and they're pretty aggressive fish and very cooperative and that's that's important. I suppose isn't it to have that aggressive quality in a game Fish he'd like that. Well now you mentioned Rivers the Mississippi and the st. Croix were at close to all time levels and both the Mississippi and the st. Croix offer extraordinary fishing for Smallmouth bass as well as other species. What what can you tell Less about the streams. I mean you may not know exactly the today's conditions. But what might we expect Anglers who are let's say hitting the st. Croix this weekend to fish for Smallmouth bass. Well high water moves fish around a lot and your particular if you've got high water and cold water and rivers cool down a lot quicker than the Lakes do so you're looking for Eddie's you're looking for calm water pocket. You're looking for places behind rocks, maybe a little deeper Pockets things of that nature and you're gonna have to fish a little slower. They're not going to be as aggressive as they usually are but the water level I fish the st. Croix in the Mississippi for years and I'm amazed at like a 6-inch drop in water level can just move fish around on particularly a shower string like the areas that you fish like the upper st. Croix's 6 inch drop or rise in water can just move fish around a lot. Well, we I guess we fancy ourselves sort of walleye and Northern Pike state but bass fishing really has caught on here in recent years hasn't it? Certainly has yeah. What what what What do you attribute that? Oh, I think the bass fishing organizations Smallmouth Alliance be a SS. They're just a best tournaments. I mean, there's a tournament almost every weekend on Minnetonka non local lakes and up north. There's a bass circuit just like there's a wall I circuit so and interestingly enough with Bass Anglers. It's mostly catch-and-release. I mean, there aren't many people that are putting bass in the cooler for you know to eat which means that we have a wonderful supply of bass except that bass do get wise. They get hook shy and sometimes I'm in a talk on the summer it's hard after they've impounded for you know, two or three tournaments. It gets pretty hard to dredge up a fish Our Guest is Chad Myers. He's an angling author and authority and a professor of humanities and natural science at Metro State University. We'd like to hear from you. If you have a question or a comment for Chet are number eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight that's outside the metropolitan area or in the Twin Cities 6512276. Using jet. Our sport is highly regulated probably for good reason, but they're in there have been some changes in regulations. You want to talk a little bit about some of the changes this year. Especially I think formal acts there was some change. Well anyone who fishes needs to get the 2001 regulation book because the there are changes when I first came to Minnesota and 68 there was a standard size limit and bag limit for fish on just about any Lake in the state. And since that time we have now have hundreds of lakes are regulated with special regulations in terms of length and catching. All that. Mille Lacs is a popular Lake there are regulations published on that but they have been changed and they are changed as a result of the tribal harvesting and they may be changed again. So I touch just talked to Rick Russo. It's up an ache in this morning on the phone and he said to make sure that Anglers check the access points to see what the regs are presently the regulations that are published in the book are wrong. They've been changed and now it's a slot limit on walleyes in which means that the wall is Between 16 and 20 inches, maybe kept em anything smaller than 16 inches goes back and anything over 20 inches goes back except one. You can keep one trophy walleye for pike. It's the opposite. There's a slot limit between 26 and 38 and all those fish have to be relaxed released. So you can keep fish smaller than 26 and bigger than 38. So it's important to have your regulations on here. And Rick said, you know, they will do a reassessment and another couple weeks and they may change the regulations again, depending on harvest. So it really the these are possibly fluid regulations for Malak from a lacks. Yes. Yeah. Let's go to the phones Brian in Rogers. You're on with Jack Myers. (00:08:41) Yeah. Good morning morning. Say I just a question after pretty much a lifetime of fishing certain County up north. We used to I guess pursue the large crappies of sunfish and a lifetime ordeal and years of Pierre they're just really really really difficult to find any size. Now I was probably as guilty as anybody in the older days of keeping all the big fish and then you know, sometimes I don't know I suppose in the mid 80s or whatever. We you know start to think more of conservation whatnot and throwing the big ones back and if we kept any at all they were smaller, but people are I suppose you want to tell me that it's the concentration of fishing and granted things have changed technology and more people fishing. But up there. There's 1,400 lakes in this particular County and many many times. I'm the only one on the lake but it's still extremely difficult to catch the two-pound crappy two and a half pounds of pound pound now Sunfish. They just seem to be a real fluke thing. If you can do that nowadays and the size is going down substantially. I know the DNR is talking about doing experimenting with various lakes and stuff and I guess I just wanted to hear your thoughts and comments. (00:09:56) Well, you're correct on a number of counts first. Crappies and bluegills are a favorite source of food for Minnesota angler. So there's a lot of pressure on them in an area where there's not a lot of pressure a fish populations change people don't people think of fish populations is stable. They're very Dynamic on the basis of the number of fish that hatch out in a given Year and that becomes an age class that almost pipes the tuned for the next three or four years in that particular lake. So Lakes Doge do go through Cycles where you'll have a like that'll just have small crappies on it, you know one year and then maybe three or four years later you start to get big crappies again. Another thing is that a lot of people in the early days when we didn't have the technology and the knowledge, we sort of skim the cream off the crop of a lot of the big crappies that were vulnerable in shallow water and a lot of people don't know that the best crappie fishing in big lakes is deeper most people fish with Bobbers and jigs in the shallows and two three four five six feet of water and as the year moves on of the crop, he's moved on to 15, 20, 25, 30 feet and you don't see a A crappy Fisher Anglers fishing in 25 30 feet of water but in Big Rock piles on Rocky Lakes up north or lakes that have rocks in them. That's where you'll find crappies in the summer. They are deeper fish than most people realize in the evening. They are what we call crepuscular. That's a great word for you crepuscular feeders, they come in and they do are in the shallows in the evening. But even then the bigger fish are weary and they're not as catchable. But even that the movement issue and and the the fluctuations in natural lakes that aside there has been a fairly intense Harvest yes over the Decades of crappies, especially and and of larger crappies particularly, I would guess and when the word gets out, it's hard to you know to hold off on that because people think well pan fish are so prolific that I'm not going to hurt the fishery. Well, that's that's really not true. You can be can't fish out a lake, but you can fish down a lake to the point where the big fish just Available as they were let's go to Chris and Minneapolis your own with Chad (00:12:03) Myers. Yeah, good morning morning. I was fishing for Northern on the opener with a weedless spoon and inadvertently caught a two to three Palm Largemouth wasn't hooked deeply and I remove the spoon gently and return the fish to the water. I noticed later that it was floating on the surface given it was prior to the bass opener. Do you know Chet what the DNR policy is on that is it to leave the bass untouched for dead throw it away clean and eat since it wasn't (00:12:29) intentional. Yeah, I do know and if you clean and eat you're in trouble. Okay, you do you can try to revive the fish. I'm not sure why if it was hooked shallow that it would be be belly up unless it unless it came from deep water. Now. You said you're fishing a spoon which says to me it wouldn't be deep water fish do get very very tired. And if the water is cold bass, you know can be fatigued easily. So if you can give them artificial respiration actually not mouth-to-mouth, but if you if you Wet your hands so that you don't take the protective slime off them. Hold them behind the Gill covers and just move them back and forth in the water. You can often resuscitate a fish but the DNR a despite even if the fish had died, you are not allowed to take that fish as part of your bag number two because it's it's not in season yet and it will not be in season until this the 26th that answer your question. Sure. Okay. Thanks for the call. Thanks for your call. Well, it is a it is a conundrum, isn't it? I mean when we have staggered seasons and if one is fishing for Northerns, it's easy to attract a Bass to your to your lure. Yeah, and it used to be that there wasn't any regulation on that. Well, a lot of people myself included do we call pre-fishing which was before the season opened and it was Catch and Release but now the regulation States specifically that it is illegal to fish for a species when it is not in season. So you can't avoid catching them. You will catch you might catch a Musky this weekend while you're fishing for bass, right? But it goes back but if I was a game warden and I saw somebody out on a lake before musky season opened throwing six seven eight nine ten twelve inch Civics and big diving plugs. I I'd wonder what they were going after we're talking with Chad Myers angling Authority professor of humanities and natural science at Metro State University about fishing and conservation and well some practical things like where to go and and when to go and that sort of thing, we'd like to hear from you 1-800-816-6088 two seven six thousand. Let's go to Jason in Mankato. You're on with Jack (00:14:36) Myers. Yeah. I was just recently out in Yellowstone. I want to do some trout fishing with the season was closed. I'll just wondering when the season opens up here in Minnesota and were some good areas to do some trout fishing. (00:14:48) Well, the trout season is open in Southeastern Minnesota and has been and April 40 Mike's more of a trout fisherman than I am. So I think you can answer these questions better than that, but there are a lot of different regulations here and The general trout season opener is April 14th, but there's some catch-and-release stuff that right and it and it basically closes on September 30th. And there are probably the best solution would be to get a guidebook. There are several out on the market that are that are quite good and very specific about where you can go and at their they're available at fly shops in the Twin Cities area and I think other sporting goods shops in Rochester and and other cities can provide you with those and the DNR has to free pamphlets one is called fishing Southeastern Minnesota streams and one is called fishing Northeastern Minnesota streams, which has a map which lists all of the trout streams the the species that are available the number of miles of fishing water on that stream and they're very very helpful in terms of pinpointing where the best streams are Jason. Does that help you (00:15:47) out? Yes, it does. Thanks a lot. Thank you (00:15:50) actually speaking of trout and Lakes. Minnesota has a number of lakes up north in all along the iron range along the North Shore where the In our is stocked stream trout which also offers a pretty good Lake fishing for typically stream trout. Yeah the pits in the Ironton area and that our stock not only with trout pit some with bass since I've seen some big Pike in those Lakes. They're very deep. They're very cold. I mean you put your boat in the water and you can be in a hundred feet of water real quick, but they do have some wonderful trout fishing in those a lot of the pits up there. It's called pit fishing do not have good access. And so you need an inflatable boat or canoe but there's some that you can put a boat motor on but I to fish some of the ones that don't get hit and that have some really good fishing and be it's fun to take a canoe or a inflatable boat up there and do some fishing for trout and the DNR does have a list of pamphlet that that directs you to lakes and pits that have been stocked. I don't know that I believe there is okay good. Yeah, there is one. Let's go to John in Edina. You're on with Jack Myers. (00:16:55) Hi. I was wondering if you'd heard of you guys would eat fish. For many of the city Lakes (00:17:01) jet I I do all the time and I might be why I'm so doofy there. There is a health advisory. Now there used to be a booklet published which was very nice and by the Minnesota Health Department and this year, they stopped publishing the booklet, but you can find out about fish that have been sampled and the advisory in terms of how many meals per week. You can eat by going to that website. That was just mentioned the last time I tried to get on it and there is a there is a secret to getting on it. You have to get into the website, which is the www dot dot r dot state DOT Mn Dot U s-- then you click on fishing and then you go from there to the next page and you click on fishing advisory and then you have to enter the name of the lake and the county and then you'll get this little print out which I'm looking at showing like which shows you the particular Lake that you're talking about and what fish have been Old and what the advisory is on it? I for Calhoun which I have right here too because you asked about City Lakes The Advisory. The problem is mercury used to be pcbs with the problems now Mercury and there is an advisory for walleye eating one meal a month for walleye that are 15 inches or over and for northern pike. It's It's one meal a week. So it does vary quite a bit, but I don't think that the that the city lakes are in any worse shape and some of the Boundary Water Lakes. I mean, there are there are Mercury warnings on almost all of the lake water likes but there are some general guidelines and older fish a larger fish probably will have a greater concentration of mercury say than a smaller younger fish. Isn't that right? Right eating small fish eating panfish, if you're eating bass and walleye seating bass in the 12 13 inch which seems small. I mean, you know, but those are actually I think they're the best eating in terms of their flesh consistency to so so you're right Mike the eating the small fish. You can also clean them skinning them rather than scaling them and cutting out the belly fat or trimming off any fat that's on a fish and some fish do have visible fat. That's usually Where the mercury concentrates? Okay, John. Does that (00:19:15) help? Yeah. Thanks a lot guys. (00:19:17) Thank you. Let's go to Fern in st. Paul. You're on with Chad Myers Verne. Go ahead. (00:19:24) Hi. Thank you for taking my call. I would like to know as a single person a single woman likes to go out fishing. Where are the best like for panfish? And when is the best time to go? I'll hang up and I'll listen on the phone. Thank you. (00:19:46) Well spring is the best time for panfish. If you're going in a boat, you're not limited to any particular season, but if you're if you don't have a boat in your shore fishing spring is the best time I would recommend a book that I believe is still available. It's by Sybil Smith. It's called Twin Cities fishing and it has maps of all of the lakes in the area that are good fishing lakes and tells you which even how big the fish can be expected to be in those Lakes. Nothing replaces a good map for for finding fish. Any given body of water is 90% devoid of Fish so he look at Lake Calhoun has perfectly round, you know, you get out there in a boat and it's got all kinds of pumps and things it's a wonderful fishing lake but 90% of that like doesn't have fish on it. So if you don't know where you're fishing, you know, you're up a creek as it were up a creek on the lake yet this time of year. The best places to fish are shallow water connectors between Lakes channels things of that nature the lot of channels out in Minnetonka that are really good fishing right now for crappies and bluegills and Pike and how are they house the access to those the access is generally pretty good generally pretty good that they get some fairly heavy fishing pressure, but it's generally pretty good. But again, if you have a boat you can get in you need a depth finder you can get out and find things but right now you're right now for the next I would say three weeks you're focusing on shore fishing. The fish just are not going to be located deep and there are some good basic books on fishing that are available through the in fisherman has some wonderful stuff. There's there's just a ton of information. Nation on fishing and you need to be knowledgeable. That's what I teach my students. I'll be teaching a course this this fall at Metro State on Minnesota fishes and everybody focuses on equipment. I mean, you can put thousands of dollars in equipment. I have a friend. I had a friend whose boat had so much equipment on it. We got into one day and he turned it on started to burn. I mean the battery was charged with hit somebody hit a light meter. He had a depth finder had an oxygen and he did everything but if you don't know where to fish what does all what is it? Good is it right? So you need to know some basic things about fishing where they live and how they move around lakes and and that will help you. Another source of information is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, which also has a guide to lakes and to Metro Lakes specifically with enlist access and the ease of access and and actually has pretty specific directions to the lake. I just got on that website for the first time today and was very impressed with him. It's got good stuff on it. Let's go to bird in Minneapolis. You're on with Chet Myers. (00:22:24) Hi. Thank you. Taking my call. The question I had was I was up fishing recently and upper Red Lake catching some nice huge slab black crappies, but there was a really heavy fishing pressure on on the population. Is that going to have a bearing on it? If that (00:22:39) continues? Yeah, an earlier caller mentioned that it will definitely and the thing is that big fish are sometimes more vulnerable at certain times of the year than at others and big crappies are vulnerable now because they're shallow. I mean they're going to go deeper in a lot of people aren't going to be able to catch him. So you really can mess up a fishing population on a lake by taking the big fish off. I have two friends who fished a lake which shall remain nameless. It's something that's not its name, right? That's not nameless like but I mean was a fairly big lake was about a thousand acres. I mean that's a nice-sized like you and they years ago. This is about 20 years ago. They discovered some secrets about walleye fishing and they hammered that Lake and they went up and they ate too because you're only allowed to keep your possession lemon. They're big eaters. They went up every week and they just punted that leak from they wipe your done. They didn't wipe it up, but it is not, you know, we have not experienced the fishing on them like that. It used to be you're saying to Anglers who know what they're doing can make a difference on us on a smaller size Lake. Yes can make a difference I in the city Lakes Lake of the Isles. I mean if you've got if you've got two men or women who pound that Lake and take their limits properly in that they can have an effect. They can have an effect it. (00:23:54) Okay. Thank you for taking my call. (00:23:55) Thank you. Thank you for your question is a good question. We're talking to Chad Myers angling Authority professor at Metro State University will be back in the second half hour of this first hour of midday. This is midday on Minnesota public radio programming on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by the blandin foundation celebrating 60 years of dedication to strengthening rural, Minnesota communities. Hi, it's Linda. Row Center Casper this week. We have a conversation with the lonely planet's Richard Stirling about their new travel guides written for the obsessed eaters Among Us and speaking of Obsessed eaters. Michael Stern Lynn. We finally found a decent filled Pig stomach That's The Splendid Table Saturday at 1 and Sunday at 6 a.m. On Minnesota Public Radio K. No W FM 91.1 And your membership in Minnesota Public Radio helps pay for the news you rely on every day. And we thank you. It's 11:30 one time now for a news update. Here's Greta Cunningham. Good morning Mike and thanks Israeli leader. Ariel Sharon has visited the (00:24:59) site of a banquet hall collapse (00:25:01) in Jerusalem. He's calling the incident a national disaster and is considering an official inquiry meantime workers are digging for more victims from the tragedy which killed at least 24 and injured three hundred others during a wedding party through some police say the building collapsed because of structural failure early reports indicate. It wasn't up to construction codes President Bush is warning the military that big changes are on the way Bush told graduates at the u.s. Naval Academy today that America must redefined war on its own terms. He says he's committed to building a smaller more mobile and more sustainable Force when they can operate in more secrecy and make greater use of Information Technology, but Bush didn't go into details of the plans being prepared by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld (00:25:43) and Atlanta appeals court says it will allow (00:25:45) publication. A parody of the Civil War classic Gone With the Wind a three-judge federal panel her less than an hour's worth of arguments before issuing a ruling From the Bench the ruling reverses a lower court decision bar and publication of wind done gone in Regional news (00:26:00) representatives of about 7,700 registered (00:26:02) nurses in the Twin Cities are back at the negotiating table with Hospital administrators a spokeswoman for the nurses says (00:26:08) Federal mediators have asked the two sides not to disclose the location of the talks or details (00:26:13) about them the nurses voted last week to reject contract offers and authorize a strike at the 12 hospitals. The Minnesota Nurses Association intends to strike a week from today. If a deal is not reached the forecast for Minnesota calls for showers along Eastern Minnesota with a few thunderstorms possible. (00:26:29) It'll be mostly cloudy in the west with a Chance of afternoon (00:26:32) showers high temperatures today ranging from 55 to 65 degrees right now in Duluth. It's raining and 51 Rochester reports some light rain and 48. It's clear in Moorhead and fifty clear skies and Saint Cloud and 62 and Twin Cities some scattered light rain with a temperature of 55 Mike. That's a check on the latest news. Thank you Greta. You're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. Gary. Eichten is off today. I'm Mike Edgerly and like to remind you that coming up at noon today on. Midday a Memorial Day voices of Minnesota special from Dan Olson. We'll hear from two survivors of World War II. It's a compelling story interviews with to minnesotans who have stories of their survival of World War II, but in this hour of midday, we're talking angling with the Chet Myers and author and angling Authority professor at Metropolitan State University. We'd like to hear from you 1-800-222-8477 area or inside the Twin Cities 6512276 thousand jet old-time fishermen in fisherwomen in Minnesota. Say the Halcyon Days of Minnesota angling have long passed. What what do you say about that? Well two answers. First of all is a generalization. It's not true. There are and again this is due to regulations. I again, I talked to Rick Russo. What's up in Aiken this morning? And he's a DNR. He's a DNR guy. And he says that there are more big walleyes in the lacks right now than the probably have ever been in history. Now, why is that? It's because of Regulation. It's because of the slot limit that's been imposed the number of years where we have to throw back bigger fish and it's because of catch-and-release where you have areas where catch and release is practiced which is more and more the case. You have big fish. There are probably more big muskies in this state than there have ever been because Muskie Anglers don't keep their fish. I mean, they don't even keep trophies. Sometimes I sometimes wish they wouldn't because they impact on the other species and Bass Anglers often return their catch the fish that get hit our the walleyes and the crappies and bluegills and Northern Pike surprisingly northern pike and there are now increasingly regulations on Throwing back northern pike what you need in a lake is a nice mix of fish different age classes different sizes different weights in any species when you don't get that you get what's called a stunted population when things get out of whack when they're not enough Predators things get out of why I remember Lake in Minnesota used to fish years ago. You could go there and any day and I could guarantee a 200 bass in four hours. Not one of them was over eight inches long, they were stunted. So the regulations have helped. I don't think the Halcyon Days Are Over I think we're practicing Catch and Release more often and in Canada. They're regulating the trophy Lakes up there for lake trout. It takes sometimes 50 years to get a really really big trophy time. That's a long time 30 40 year old fish is an ancient fish most fish don't live that long at all. But if you want to have big fish here, we're going to have to regulate the more carefully and we're going to have to you know, toss them back. So yeah, you can't go out and just, you know cream the fish like you used to be able to You've got millions more people. You've got technology. You've got better equipment you more knowledge much more knowledgeable men and women fishing than there were years ago. There were a few old old codgers. I'll say and they were probably guys years ago and they knew it today more knowledgeable Anglers. Let's go to Joe in White Bear Lake you're on with Chad (00:30:02) Myers. All right. Thanks for taking my call Chad. I'm just kind of curious you mentioned earlier about your friend with all the equipment in his boat in it's something that I noticed and has been sort of troubling to me and I wonder if technology has gone too far and if we need to put more restrictions on the use of Technology, not only from the standpoint of putting more pressure on the Lakes, but it also I for the life of me, I can't see why it's fun. I was out with a friend and it annoys the heck out of me every time a big fish would come towards my lure. He look at his fish finder and say, oh here comes a big one it (00:30:37) sort of takes the mystery out of it. (00:30:39) It really does and now with the lit lighted lures and underwater cameras and things do we need Policymakers need to maybe scale back on technology both as a way of keeping the sport is as well as protecting the resource. (00:30:53) I have mixed feelings about that to be honest. I don't think that yes depth finders. Definitely have I mean that's probably been the biggest revolution in fishing and you're not going to Outlaw those as far as some of the other things. I'm not sure that they make that big a difference. I've talked to people who've got cameras one of my best friend got a camera. We're going to be trying it out this week and he says he spends more time watching the fish down. Then he does fishing the fact that there are fish there doesn't mean you can get them to bite and the fact that you've lured a camera you can see them doesn't mean what it means is that you've alerted them which means they're probably unless they're in a very very positive feeding. We would just 10% of their time. They're probably not going to hit so I don't in the lighted lures, you know, I just don't think it's that big a factor. I don't think I think we're seduced by technology. We spend a lot of money on it the Did you simply don't need it and you make choices in your fishing life as you do in all aspects of your life and I make a lot of choices and I know Mike does about the Aesthetics of fishing and for Mike and I the Aesthetics are more important than a lot of the hype our technology. We'd rather do our own lawyers Tire on flies fish with simple equipment. I've got a buddy. We're going to go out on a lake up in woman like up North this year and we're fishing with all equipment from the 1940s 1940s 1950s. We let's see that would probably be baitcasting reels head and lures black nylon line heading towards you got it, you know, but that's the aesthetic. Yeah, so I don't think technology has heard fishing at least to this point and I'm not worried about the cameras. I think it's fun to have the cameras. I think it'll help people be more knowledgeable about fish Behavior. I don't think it's going to make a lot of more fish vulnerable to being caught ya really know. Yeah. Let's go to Mary and Minneapolis you're on with Seth Meyers. (00:32:38) Hi. Thanks for taking my call. I I just wanted to make a point about the Mercury. I think it's misleading to tell people that one walleye per month at any length or one northern pike per week is safe. I'm a Management Consultant who's worked in Europe for 22 years and I follow the World Health Organization in Geneva that says there is no safe level of mercury. It is the most toxic heavy metal after plutonium and I think that the catch and release is the only option we have left. I think the lakes are poison and I think it's misleading to tell people that it's safe to eat them. It is (00:33:19) not Thank you. Yeah, thanks for your comment. Yeah, the guidelines, you know are simply that their guidelines based on what Minnesota Health Department assumes is safe levels and and I can agree with you there. There really aren't many safe loves at all particularly for pregnant women and the regulations are the suggestions are very different with regard to pregnant women eating fish and children and children eating fish. But the fact is that people do eat fish in the fact is that if you are going to eat fish as Mike suggested the best thing to do is to eat the smaller fish because they're lower on the food chain and they just haven't accumulated the amount of mercury that the other fish have right and she actually makes a good point. There is no level of mercury that is healthy level. I mean, it's all it's all bad for me. It's bad. It's bad news, but it appears that the regulations are designed to set a level that says if you're this person in this condition this age of this gender, you can do this without any overt or apparent harm perhaps. Yeah again, that's that's a You know, that's a judgment call on their part. I think what we need to think about is why we've got mercury in the lake and really about pollution and about, you know, combusting Mercury and and having incinerators that burn. I mean, that's how Mercury gets into our lakes or incineration and also probably some people are speculating the through the leaching process that have acid rain which releases some natural Mercury that's in that's in substrates. So I think we need to think about Pollution Control in addition. So I appreciate and respect the caller's a perspective on that. Let's go to wane and Roseville you're on with Chad (00:34:52) Myers shouldn't white good enjoy your show so far. Thank you and going back to your earlier comments about River fishing. I've been fishing now for about a dozen or so years and most of my fish and been in lakes and I'm real interested in looking at some River fishing and particularly. Do you think Croix River? Hmm. Do you have any good ideas or references that you might be able to direct me to or talk about that a little bit? (00:35:16) There's some old books. There's not a lot written on River fishing. It's Not as popular and Mike and I like that because we like to fish. I heard a few people out there but it's a very different ball game. I've taken you can take a good River fisherman angler out on a lake and there's no transition problem. You take a person who's just fish flakes out on River and there's all kinds of problems because you're dealing with drifting with snagging you're going to lose a lot more equipment locating fish is a lot more problematical can be difficult. But the st. Croix River is a nice River to fish particularly the stretch. I would recommend the stretch like between Taylors Falls and down to Stillwater. You can rent canoes along that section. There are rocky sections Rocky substrates Limestone that stick out both on the Wisconsin and Minnesota side, wherever you find rocks, you find smallmouth bass. I mean that's just a rule 80% of that River Sandy. So there are any bass there and bass and walleye are the primary species. So if you take a light action spinning rod with a small Rapala, which is a floating lure or spinner something like that. Rapallo will not get hung up. So much you can you can drift a section like that and catch particular in the summer catch a lot of nice smallmouth bass. Dann gaping wrote a number of books years ago. They're in the library. He's probably one of the most knowledgeable River fisherman in North America and I would recommend any of Dan's books on River fishing. He's one of the few people that writes well about rivers and tells a lot of stories but he's got a lot of good insights into River fishing and maybe Mike's got something to add on that because Mike versus Rivers lat well in the The Fly Shop, the fly tackle shops can also recommend places along the st. Croix and there are guides who work. I mean, you can actually hire someone to take you out for the day. That's the st. Croix is one of the great places to fish for carp. And that's a species that most people not only ignore but turn their nose up but especially on like tackle, they're quite interesting and very finicky fish to try to catch and but I would say in the tackle shops, especially in the Twin Cities area could give you some information about about the st. Croix. Let's get started with a guide. That's a good tip if you're going to go alone. Get a canoe rent a canoe. You can get a shuttle at st. Croix don't bite off more than a seven mile section for like a good part of the day. I mean if you're going to be out for most of the day that that doesn't sound like a lot because you're floating at three miles an hour to miles an hour. You could float it, you know in a couple of hours, but when you're going to be fishing you're going to be floating paddling back fishing, I mean, I find that for me a seven eight mile section of river is a nice that's a nice section 4 day 4 days fishing, right? And of course the st. Croix such a beautiful spot, you know, forget the fish. You've got the you've got the Osprey in the Eagles and everything out there that keep you entertained and they know how to fish right? Let's go to Bob you're on with Jack (00:37:56) Myers. Yeah, good morning morning. I would like to go back to that comment about 10 percent of the fish. And my problem is I get out there and I am not on the fish and I have a depth finder and I think I'm seeing fish. I might catch any fish. Sometimes I catch fish at night if I troll shallow, but just to go out on a big lake and I'm on a lake with maybe 5,000 Acres. You know, it's a lot of like the (00:38:21) covered it is and and lakes are either simple or complex in their underwater structure. We have what we call hydrographic maps are depth maps that helped us discover that it's a combination of knowing the structure of the lake and knowing that the species you're going after most bass in Minnesota lakes are weed line fish. That means they're on the weed line. You can use your depth finder to help you find the weed line and what you're looking for oftentimes are drop-offs points bars their particular types of structure that hold fish and there are other types of structure that simply don't and that changes three in the air right now. Most of the fish are shallow in a after the bass of Spawn they can move out to the weed flats. That means they're going to be 10 15 feet of water where there's weeds big flat nondescript areas that don't look very interesting. But if you get up on top and throw a spinnerbait, you can catch a lot of bass. So it's a combination of knowing the species of fish. When where that fish likes to be in the lake recognizing from your depth map the different types of structure putting that together with the season because fish move around and when you add those three things up, you can figure out you know, where the fish are going to be and how active they are going to be. So I say first understand the fish next you understand the environment that they live in then you understand the conditions you put those three things together and it helps you determine the location and then you worry about what you're going to use to get them. But until you've answer those three questions, you're fishing blind pretty much I heard from a gentleman when I was fishing as a kid always fish the edges. Yep. Yep. And so figure that out in any place you are and you might find edges edges are edges. The big factor edges the big factor and particularly in Minnesota fishing and particularly with milfoil as we have a lot of our legs edges become really an important factor in fishing unless you're willing to get in there and muck around with him wrestle them out with, you know, twenty Thirty pound test. And big heavy Jigs and stuff like that. Let's go to ah Del in North Mankato you're on with Seth Meyers. She speaking our language as something as big as a car the okay. Now we're (00:40:38) talking we have we've been out we've been my husband. I've been fishing them for about five years something like that. And I think the smallest one we've ever brought in is like 25 pounds. (00:40:50) And do you keep these fish (00:40:52) we catch and release but as far as I know they only eat live south so I mean, they're not like a channel cat, you know, that's down there mucking around. So the the Mead apparently is pretty clean if you feel like taking it home. Yeah, but yeah for a bragging fish you bring home a picture of of a six foot two guy holding a fish as big as human. You know that anybody will look at that. (00:41:19) Yeah, there's great catfish fishing in Minnesota at the st. Croix's got some good. Yeah Channel cat holes in it. The DNR has done a management program on the Mississippi River for Channel Cats Flathead cats the Minnesota River. I have a friend who goes down right by black dogs and every down there and fish his Channel Cats. He I think he got a 40-pound or not Channel cat flat at a 40-pound flat and the river the river in Minnesota for big flat heads is the Red River Red River the north. It's just it's nationally famous for big. I mean, you know, you're talking about using a rod that looks like a saltwater because if you take your regular spinning and baitcasting tackle it just gonna haul you into the river with it. Well growing up in the South we used to see catfish Bates and that was just the most obnoxious stuff people would put on their hooks. Now, what would you suggest people use for? I mean, is there a standard catfish bait or does it vary between species of catfish? I'm not an expert in that area. I really don't know. I know that there that the chance that the Flathead cats. Do you know our Willy type of Channel Cats will to most people think of catfish and they think of dead chicken gizzards and stink Bates and think that fish will tell you know, I've caught Channel Cats on Rapala has I've caught him on spinners, you know, they will attack Clive things too, but I just don't know exactly I'm not an expert on Right fishing flatheads and the woman who called probably knows I think she's the expert. Let's go to Thor and Maplewood. You're on with Chad (00:42:38) Myers. Yeah chant. Thanks for taking my call. My question is shore fishing. We have a cabin very remote north of Ely by 17 miles and we walk into a small Lake which is in The Boundary Waters and we carry our gear for 40 minutes to get there and we fish from Shore. Well, we are fortunate to get pan fish or bluegills by worms, but there are times when we don't want to go all the way into a lie get worms. Is there a lucky bait that we can consider from Shore. This is a deep lake. It's quite deep right off the shore and that's the kind of fishing we do to get our bluegills a few of them for for dinner at our cabin and walk back out to our cabin 40 minutes that question is a shore fishing. If people are still doing that and is there a rigger jig or whatever that's for panfish or for bluegills. Go. (00:43:42) Yeah. That's an excellent question. I'm glad you called about shore fishing because we tend to focus again with technology on boats and motors and all that in my aging years when it's harder to get the boat out. I've bought a pair of waders and I do a lot of short fishing and City lakes and I've had a heck of a time catching bass and Pike and all kinds of stuff for that particular Lake if it's if it's if it's deep which is good because if it's really really shallow you're not going to be able to do much fishing from Shore accept it in the spring and fall. What I would do is learn how to use a slip bobber slip bobber is a bobber that has a little knot on it that slides up and down the line and you can determine how deep you want to fish and I would use light jigs with just a piece of worm on it and and start fishing deeper for your for your crappies and bluegills. What you do is you cast out from Shore and it lands. The bobber and the rig lands and then it just the line just peels down through the bobber until it hits the little stop. So there's a trick to using a slip bobber but slip offers have been used on Mille Lacs for years with leeches out on the reefs. In fact, that's where we first really started using slip bobber. So I would I would experiment with a slip bobber because it's a good way to fish deep and to cover you know, and to keep the bait and jig suspended where the fish are and then you can vary if you don't catch them at a certain depth you can just slide that not up and you know move the jig in the bait up and down. So slip our would be way I'd go so we're just about out of time here check, but I guess we should we have we covered just about all of the regulations have we have we covered all of the potential spots and opportunities for people this weekend. Do you think if we try to cover all the ratios in Mike we might be another hour, I would mention two things. There are fishing for fun Lakes for kids which are stocked by the DNR and it's where kids can go and adults can't fish but Can catch crappies and bluegills those used to be listed in the regs? I can't find them anymore in the rig. So I would go to the DNR page for that second. There is a take a kid fishing weekend, which is coming up June 8th and 10th that the nice thing about that is if you're an adult and you're accompanied by a child under 16 years old, you don't need to have a license and heck of a deal. So you got the 8th 9th and 10th that weekend is take a kid fishing weekend. You do need to regulations. You do need to have a set of regulations because the regulations apply, but you can get out there and take a grandchild or a nephew or niece or something like that and have a ball teaching them how to fish and I think that's important. I think we need to expose kids to fishing so that we don't lose our contact with nature and have people care about fishing in the future how early should or could one take a child fishing how early could a kid be introduced to fishing. Oh, I would say, you know for five years old something like that. I fished with kids as young as But you know for for its what's amazing to me about young kids. Mike is their concentration. I mean, you would think limited attention span. I've taken a little kids out and they just wow, you know, they cannot last me they just they're very patient can be very very patient. But you want to have simple gear really simple gear and what kind of speed what fish should should you target your heels and crappies fish off a docks something that has a some hope of action right? You can go to any Doc in any Minnesota lake that's got bluegills and crappies and if you walk out there quietly there right under the dock so you can just catch him right off the dock and that's that's fun. It's a fun way to go and you were we've talked a fair bit this our about fishing the rivers and I would guess that the st. Croix the Mississippi really are they're still sleeping. I mean, they're going to catch the fishing will get much better as this as the weather warms and hopefully the rain moves on. Yeah, and as the water goes down the friend started taking me fishing on the Mississippi right in Minneapolis downtown. The apples and the first time I went out I was out for about three hours. I caught I think 21 smallmouth bass nice smallmouth bass. Now. They're not edible those fish in the Cities area really are not edible. But boy, that's a lot of fun and I sent some of my students from my class at Metro State at and they were catching cut some 3/4 pound walleyes and a friend. Can you do this from Shore? Do you need a yes B. No, you can do it right from sure you can do it. It's you got to be careful. You got to be careful walking. You need to wear good hiking boots and that have good cleats and things on it, but you can catch him right from sure Chet. Thanks for coming in today. Thank you so much for having me again our guest this hours Chet Myers angling Authority and author and professor of humanities and natural science at Metro State University. You're listening to midday on Minnesota Public Radio.