Register open for beginner fly fishing weekend for youth-adult pairs

A youth paired with an adult can join other youth-adult pairs to learn the basics of fly fishing from experienced instructors from evening on Friday, April 27, to afternoon on Sunday, April 29, near Lanesboro, MN.
“Youth and adults in these classes are both beginners, so they can learn to fly fish together,” said Deb Groebner, a regional specialist with MinnAqua, an educational program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “When they finish the weekend, they’ll be ready to take on more fishing adventures for a variety of species.”
To participate, youth must be 11 to 17 years old as of April 27, and adult and youth must each have less than 5 hours of fly fishing experience.
The registration fee is $130 per pair and includes meals, lodging, guiding services, equipment and additional materials. Sponsorships to offset registration fees may be available from angling and conservation organizations. This event is limited to 20 youth-adult pairs.
Apply online at surveymonkey.com/r/DNRflyfish2018.
For more information, contact Groebner at 507-359-6049 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Monsoor needs big finish on second stop of FLW Tour

"It's not what you did yesterday, but what you are going to do today?"
As in the world of most sports, such is the world of professional bass fishing.
Tom Monsoor reeled in his first FLW Tour pro bass tournament title in 2017, plus a nice $105,000 check.
But, that was last year. How about this year?
The La Crosse native heads into the second of seven FLW qualifiers Thursday, after fishing a disappointing 73rd place with no paycheck in the 2018 FLW Tour Qualifier season opener on Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, FL, in late January.
Monsoor, who has won more than $850,000 on the FLW Tour in 16 seasons, has high hopes as do 185 other professionals in the four-day event on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, FL. Monsoor finished 115th last year.
Although Monsoor is in 73rd place in the standings after the first tourney, he needs a better outcome this week to move up the ladder.
Anglers reaching the top 60 in each event earn $10,000.
"There used to be 150 pros each week, then it went to 165 the last couple of years. This year it's 186," Monsoor said. "It's the biggest circuit in the world and attracts anglers from Japan, Africa and Spain."
It's not cheap to compete on the FLW Tour either. Anglers must commit to all seven qualifying events for a total cost of $31,500 each year. That doesn't include mileage, food and lodging, besides wear and tear on boats, trailers and vehicles. Additional funds are needed for pre-fishing before each tournament. Anglers usually spend at least a couple of weeks prefishing before the qualifier.
"It's not cheap, but it's what I enjoy... fishing," Monsoor said, recently.

Wisconsin sturgeon spearing season continues, but who knows how long

BY RYAN KOENIGS
Wisconsin DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist/
Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist

As of Saturday, Feb. 17, we are now halfway through the 2018 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago.  
We have been hearing reports for the last few days that the water has gradually been clearing and there must be some truth to that given the harvest over the last two days.  
The 119 fish registered the past two days (51 yesterday and 68 today) is only 20 fish behind the opening weekend tally, and I am confident that there were fewer shacks and spearers out on the lake today relative to last weekend.  
The registration station at Wendt’s has been pacing the way for most of the season and today was no different with 19 fish registered at Wendt’s. That was followed by Calumet Harbor (11 fish), Jerry’s Bar (10 fish), Stockbridge Harbor (9 fish), and Payne’s Point (9 fish).
There were three 100-plus pound fish registered today (2 at Wendt’s and 1 at Calumet Harbor). The largest fish of the day was 136.7 pounds, 78.1 inches and registered at Wendt’s by James Price of Fond du Lac (photo attached).
Jeremiah Tripke of Fond du Lac also registered a nice fish (124.3 pounds, 78.3 inches) at Calumet Harbor.
In addition to the 100 pounders, there were many memories made by spearers. David Schulze of Oshkosh had his good luck charm (his daughter) with him as he harvested a 77.2-pound, 65.6-inch female that he registered at Wendt’s.
Faren Harding of Fond du lac was sitting in the shack with two of her friends as a 54.2-inch, (28.7-pound sturgeon came into the hole.  This was Faren’s first fish and from what I’ve heard, throwing the spear was just the beginning of the chaos that occurred between the time the spear was thrown and the fish was on the ice.  
 


Wisconsin sturgeon harvest plunges on Monday

BY RYAN KOENIGS
Wisconsin DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist/
Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist

The Monday, Feb. 19 sturgeon harvest took quite a dip compared to Sunday as 21 fish were registered.  
Calumet Harbor (Pipe) led the way with 10 fish registered, followed by Wendt’s (5), Stockbridge (4), and Payne’s Point (2).  
There was a single fish registered that pushed over 100 pounds on the scale and that was the 124.2-pound, 71.5-inch female sturgeon registered at Calumet Harbor by Lucas Wagner of St. Cloud, MN.
Monday was also a good day for the Manderscheid family of New Holstein as the brother-sister combination of Gordon Manderscheid and Stella Manderscheid each harvested fish. Gordon’s fish was 62.6 pounds (66.2 inches) while Stella’s fish was 51.6 pounds (59.7 inches).

Sturgeon harvest continues to rise in Wisconsin

By RYAN KOENIGS
Wisconsin DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist/
Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist
 
The sturgeon harvest on Lake Winnebago picked up on Friday, as 51 fish were registered.  
The registration station at Wendt’s was the busiest with 17 fish registered, followed by Payne’s Point (8), Jerry’s Bar (7), Calumet Harbor (6), Stockbridge Harbor (5), and Waverly and Quinney each with 4 fish.
The Lake Winnebago harvest total through 7 days comes to 337 fish, which is a bit behind the 510 fish registered through the first 7 days of last season.
The largest fish registered on Friday was Mark Baker’s 115.0-pound, 75.1-inch female that he registered at Calumet Harbor (Pipe).   
Earlier this week, I wrote about some of the longer fish that have been harvested from the Winnebago System. In Wednesday’s report I invited comments about any other very long sturgeon that may have been harvested prior to the 1970s.
My predecessor, Ron Bruch, contacted me last night and informed of a 90-inch fish that was harvested during the 1951 season and weighed 118 pounds. It goes without saying, that 90-incher would have been a very impressive fish.
The largest fish that I have personally seen was 87.5 inches, but maybe someday we will see another 90-inch sturgeon either during one of our surveys or harvested by a spearer.       
Good luck on the ice this weekend!


Gregory Naparalla

Sturgeon spearers do well on Sunday

By RYAN KOENIGS
Wisconsin DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist/
Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist

There were 69 lake sturgeon harvested from Lake Winnebago on Sunday, making it the second largest harvest of the season behind only opening day when 83 fish were registered.  
Sunday’s harvest is also very similar to Saturday's in terms of number of fish registered (68 on Saturday), but different in terms of which stations were the busiest.  
Wendt’s, Calumet Harbor (Pipe), and Jerry’s Bar (Oshkosh) were the busiest stations on Saturday, in that order, while Cal Harbor, Wendt’s and Waverly Beach were the top three stations Sunday.  Yes, you read correctly, Waverly Beach was one of the busier stations on the lake Sunday. There were just 21 fish registered at Waverly Beach during the first 8 days of the season, but Sunday was a new day as 10 fish were registered there.
The largest fish of the day was 141.4 pounds, 75.7 inches and registered at Jerry’s Bar by Gregory Naparalla of Berlin.
The season will continue for 7 more days, but I do want to notify spearers that we have decided to close our registration stations at Waverly Beach, Quinney, and Jerry’s Bar for the remainder of the season. Successful spearers will still be able to register their fish at Payne’s Point, Stockbridge Harbor, Calumet Harbor (Pipe), and Wendt’s.
Good luck spearing over the last week of the season!

24 more sturgeon registered on Wednesday

BY RYAN KOENIGS
Wisconsin DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist/
Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist

There were 24 sturgeon harvested from Lake Winnebago on Wednesday bringing the season total to 253.  
Calumet Harbor (Pipe) paced the way with seven fish while Stockbridge Harbor and Jerry’s Bar (Oshkosh) each registered four.  On the season, Wendt’s has a pretty good lead on all other stations with 67 fish registered thus far. The largest fish of the day was 92.5 pounds (67.2 inches) and registered at Calumet Harbor by Joseph Brenner.
The season will continue for another 11 days, so spearers will have some time to get out and harvest a fish yet this season.
On Tuesday, I mentioned that the 84.5-inch fish registered at Jerry’s Bar was the longest fish that I had confirmed record of being harvested. We have fairly reliable harvest records dating back to the early 1970s, but only intermittent records prior to that.  
Tuesday's fish was the longest fish in our data set during this time period. However, I was made aware of at least one longer fish harvested prior to the 1970s. That fish was Bill Mortimer’s 85-inch,  168-pound sturgeon harvested during the 1957 season.  
It’s possible there are other longer fish out there in the history as well. If you are aware of any, please pass on the photo and story.  
Regardless of the length of fish harvested during past seasons, fish records are based off weight not length. The current state record lake sturgeon harvested via spear was 212.2 pounds (84.2 inches) and taken during the 2010 spearing season. Many of the top 11 heaviest fish on record were taken during the 2010-2013 seasons. Although we have not had a 170-plus pound fish registered in the past five years, we have had a number of fish harvested that were certainly long enough to be on this list had they been in better condition.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR