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LATE-WINTER FISHING

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Every winter season brings its own unique set of conditions. Some winters are milder than others. Some bring a lot more snow than others. One thing that is common to every winter season is that it can be a great time to catch some big fish—if you know where to go. more...


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Ohio rescuers advocate fines for stranded anglers

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Now that the danger is over for 134 fishermen stranded on a huge ice floe in Lake Erie over the weekend, the anger has set in among the people who had to rescue them.

The fishermen ignored cracks in the ice and high-wind warnings; some even built a makeshift bridge across the cracking ice to reach a favorite fishing spot. But the agencies that led the risky rescue operation can't charge them a dime.  more...



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Quick freeze puts fish on ice

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 sudden drop in temperature last week led to a number of fish being frozen in the top layer of ice on Lake Ontario.

As the relatively balmy weather of last Friday quickly dove back below zero, fish swimming near the surface found themselves frozen in place.

Dr. Yuxiang Wang, a Queen's professor in environmental biology, said the phenomenon is by no means a unique event. It occurs when ice forms below fish that are swimming near the surface, trapping them. more...



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DNR: Extreme cold puts damper on fishing activity

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Extreme cold temperatures last week put a damper on fishing activity for the entire state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday in its weekly fishing report.

Many anglers reported seeing fish in the holes, but nothing could entice them to bite.

This is not unusual fish behavior, according to the DNR: Whether it is the very cold temperatures or the high barometric pressure that often accompanies cold fronts, fish often quit biting during extremely cold, clear weather. Look for the bite to pick up once the temperatures start to warm back up.   more...



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Project prepares habitat for spawning sturgeon

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Somewhere in Lake Superior there's a sturgeon that should be smiling.

Crews this week are stockpiling 400 truckloads of boulders that later this year will be poured into the St. Louis River just below the Fond du Lac dam in hopes lake sturgeon will use the area for spawning beds.

It's an effort by the Nature Conservancy and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to kick-start sturgeon spawning as the prehistoric fish continues its comeback in the St. Louis River and western Lake Superior. more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Discovery of natural reproduction may change bay musky stocking

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GREEN BAY -- Indications the Great Lakes strain of spotted muskies have successfully spawned in Green Bay have been detected by the Department of Natural Resources, a discovery that could impact future musky stocking locations, said David Rowe, DNR fisheries biologist.  more...

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Two Michiganders win fishing event, spot on TV show

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photoWhen the North American Ice Fishing Championships was held at Boom Lake, Minn., 42 out of the 80 two-angler teams caught a limit of 32 fish over two days. So what did Michigan anglers Joe Pikulski and Myron Gilbert do differently to win the event by a mere 1 3/4 ounces?

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Seeking steelhead ranks high in winter

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There aren't many brands of fishing available in winter, but seeking steelhead ranks high. They're big 8 to 12 pounds usually extremely hard-fighting, and if you decide to take one home, not bad eating, especially smoked.

Veteran steelhead hunters know just how to catch them and even amateurs and part-timers usually know enough to bag one now and then. If there's a real secret, it's knowing when to go. Lake Erie's steelhead rivers are sometimes just perfect, green and slow flowing or clear with good visibility, but they might be iced over, especially the smaller ones, or bank full and muddy.  more...



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Ice fishing expert advises moving quickly, frequently

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photoBROOKLYN, Mich. -- Many ice fishermen believe if they don't get bites quickly, it's time to move. Most define quickly as 15 minutes, 30 tops.

Dave Genz, one of the best ice anglers in America, has a different definition.

"One or 2 minutes is all the time we give them," he said. "Most people don't move enough. They sit in one spot. But in the daytime, fish usually aren't very active. You might be over a school of 10,000 bluegills, but only a few are going to bite."



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Fewer male pike in fish habitat

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Cootes Paradise is famous for a habitat restoration effort that includes barring carp from this 250-hectare wetland at the west end of Hamilton Harbour.

But also for vanishing male pike.  more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Agency delays decision on coaster brook trout

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MARQUETTE, Mich. - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delayed a decision on whether to place the coaster brook trout on the endangered species list.

The agency had planned to make a tentative decision by Dec. 15 about the fish, which once thrived in the upper Great Lakes.

But Jessica Hogrefe, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife regional office in Minneapolis, tells The Mining Journal of Marquette for a Saturday story the agency is pushing back the decision until April to get more data. more...


Environment  Fishing  

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Fisheries biologist hatches plan in dark of Marquette Park

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Things we take for granted were often revolutionary when they were first proposed.

The Urban Fishing Program was one. Re-establishing a huntable population of wild turkeys, building a viable muskie fishery and developing a world-class trout and salmon fishery on Lake Michigan were some others that required incredible leaps of faith by both the Department of Natural Resources and by the legislature and their constituents who would, after all, have to pay the freight for innovation.  more...

 



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In the land where big creatures roam

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KASBA LAKE, Northwest Territories - Angling friend Jerry suggested I chum the waters during these cold, wintry days and whet the appetites of readers.

That is an easy request.

There is a marked difference between the lake trout that swim the waters of Lake Michigan and that species' first Canadian cousin. The Canadian version is wild and strong enough to pull a boat around like it was a feather. more...

 



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Dance the Winter Jig

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Vertical jigging is a great technique that can be used any time of the year, but it is particularly useful in winter. When the water gets cold, it is often the best way to entice fish into biting. Perch, walleye and other species tend to school up into tight groups in deep water during the winter months and if you can find them, you can sit right above them and catch quite a few with very little effort.   more...


 



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Fish Finders - Improving Your Odds

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school of fish

No longer do you need to glance at the screen of your fish finder with that skeptical look that says, “so you’re telling me something’s down there, but my guess is as good as yours what it is.”  Today’s systems incorporate sonar technology that is quite capable and reliable without necessitating a military budget.    more...

 



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