Spring is a time when shallow fish and cold water often mean methodical presentations designed to tempt fish that may be a bit lethargic into biting.  During summer, however, faster presentations that trigger aggressive, reactionary strikes are often more effective.

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It’s been a few years since we have written any articles for the Blue Blazes column so I thought I would take this chance to remind you what the North Country Trail is all about. It is our hope that by sharing our experiences and information some of you will be moved to join our efforts to b…

The state’s requirement that most of us must wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 strikes me in two different ways. First, it’s a good idea if you want to prove you are doing “something.” Second, it is not a magic bullet.

Volunteers from across Minnesota are needed on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020 to participate in a statewide search for starry stonewort, one of Minnesota’s newest aquatic invasive species. Hundreds of volunteers will gather at local training sites to learn how to identify starry stonewort and other…

 Mac Berg , 9, of Arden Hills caught these two 25- and 26-inch walleyes on Lake of the Woods while fishing with his grandparents Scott and Lisa Brummer of Fergus Falls.

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The Ned rig technique involving fishing a small plastic bait on a small jig when chasing bass.  Here in the northern reaches of the country, we have been using plastic worms of various shapes on small jig heads for years when casting to bass that live on the deep weedlines of many lakes.  “J…

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Outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend time in some of Fergus Falls’ parks may want to reconsider a trip to Barefoot Park, located at the end of St. Andrew’s Street by Quality Toyota, alongside the Otter Tail River. With demolition and cleanup underway at the Mid-Am Dairy property park mainten…



June can be a great time to catch walleye.  The fish have fully recovered from the spawn and are “on the feed” meaning finding fish is usually the key to catching them.  Here are some tips for finding, and then catching, the oft-aggressive walleye of June!

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Like many other events planned for the area in 2020, the Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club regrets that it has decided to cancel its 100th anniversary celebration scheduled for the Bigwood Event Center later this August.  With so many uncertainties going forward the club’s board of directors m…

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Early summer is a great time of year to chase largemouth bass.  Many fish are now recovered from the spawn and are feeding aggressively.  And, many are still roaming shallow to mid-depth waters and can be caught throwing a swim jig, which just happens to be a favorite “bassin’ ” presentation…

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Early summer is a great time of year to chase largemouth bass.  Many fish are now recovered from the spawn and are feeding aggressively.  And, many are still roaming shallow to mid-depth waters and can be caught throwing a swim jig, which just happens to be a favorite “bassin’ ” presentation…

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will reopen campgrounds at state parks, state forests and recreation areas in a phased approach beginning June 1. Gov. Tim Walz announced that public and private campgrounds may reopen beginning June 1, if they create a preparedness plan and foll…

If was a long winter and even longer spring as many have spent the past several weeks social distancing!  Now, however, our governor has told us to get outside and go fishing, while still being safe.  So, we best heed that advice!

I had a high school journalism instructor who had grown up in northern Minnesota and had lived around timberwolves. One day he started talking to the class about wolves and what they were really like. He was not kind to them but when he got done we all knew he had not been talking through his hat.

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Lakes across the Midwest are ice free and warming and that means crappies are spending more and more time shallow.  These scrappy panfish are in those shallows looking for food meaning they can provide some of the year’s fastest open-water fishing action!

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Fishing opener is a Minnesota rite of springtime, and this Saturday’s kickoff of fishing for walleye, bass, trout in lakes, and northern pike will have anglers on the water to wet a line, reconnect with nature and benefit from time spent outdoors.

The 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener celebration has been postponed until May 13-15, 2021. With that, the local planning committee announced the drawing for the Lund Boat raffle has been moved to May 8, 2021. The good news is people can still win the same brand-new Lund boat and the …

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Recently, we filmed a late winter crappie fishing episode for “Fishing the Midwest” TV.  Our goal was to catch crappies 12 inches long and bigger and one of the modifications we made to reach that goal was fishing jigging spoons rather than smaller jigs.

Fishing and hunting licenses are available for anyone to purchase through the Department of Natural Resources website or by calling 888-665-4236. Licenses are also still available for purchase in person through convenient stores that remain open during the governor’s order, however, the DNR …

The Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program is accepting applications until May 15. The program is a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa, Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. 

Minnesota fisheries managers canceled all spring egg-taking operations, leaving a void of walleye stocking in more than 330 lakes, the Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

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Despite the fears associated with COVID-19, license sales are up a modest 15 percent as the 2020 Spring Turkey Hunting season approaches next Wednesday in Minnesota.

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Today, Gov. Tim Walz announced that the Governor’s Fishing Opener celebrations will be postponed until next May. The event was to be held in Otter Tail County May 7-10, 2020. The event was appropriately postponed to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Minnesota fishing opener …

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There are lots of things to love about early season walleye fishing!  For one, spring walleye angling often signals the return of open water fishing for another year.  And, walleyes in the spring are often aggressive biters and easily accessible in fairly shallow water. 

Warm temperatures and dry conditions in central and east-central Minnesota mean increased wildfire risk, so the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is restricting open burning in the following counties effective immediately:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) today announced the suspension of operations at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC) and Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, effective today. Waterfowl Production Areas and hiking trails at the PWLC remain open to provide continued op…

A favorite time of the entire ice fishing season for many anglers is the last few weeks of the season before safe ice eventually gives way to open water.  The weather is often warm, the days are longer, and panfish really go on the bite during this time!

The Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club is hosting two “how to” fishing classes in Fergus Falls this spring in conjunction with their 100th year anniversary.  A regular “School of Fish” class, aimed at adults 16 years and older, will be held on April 22 at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center st…

High school fishing teams are exploding in popularity in Minnesota. In 2018, schools in and around Otter Tail County formed the Heart O’ Lakes High School Fishing League. In 2019, there were 22 schools who had joined the league and over 400 student anglers participating. During the summer mo…

Students, ages 12 years old through seniors in high school can take their first step qualifying for college scholarships March 7, on Lake Bemidji.  The NAIFC (North American Ice Fishing Circuit) will be conducting a SIF (student ice fishing) tournament with the top 10 teams advancing to the …

Come enjoy an evening in the park by candlelight and moonlight at Lake Carlos State Park Saturday, Feb. 29 from 7-9 p.m. Snowshoe or hike. Hit the trails, where you will be guided by the full moon and candle luminaries. Then come warm up by the wood stove or enjoy snacks and refreshments in …

Recently I traveled to Big Stone Lake to fish with winter fishing guide Tanner Arndt.  Tanner and his dad, Artie, also own and run Artie’s Fish House Rentals on Big Stone.  The Arndt’s specialize in, and pride themselves on, putting their customers on lots of Big Stone’s numerous and delicio…

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For Boy Scouts, a big part of joining is learning different skills. These can range from first aid, how to build a fire and other survival skills. But as the saying goes “practice makes perfect,” and outside of an actual event scouts will not get the necessary practice to help with these iss…

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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources awarded conservation officer Tricia Plautz received the 2020 Enforcement Education Achievement Award.

The candlelight ski event at Maplewood State Park will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 6-8:30 p.m.  The 1-mile ski trail will be lighted with 150 candles, a wonderful sight to see.  Come and enjoy the evening.  Ski, hike, or snowshoe, stand around the campfire, chat with friends, and enjo…

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The Department of Natural Resources will host more than 30 candlelight events at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, including one at Glendalough State Park on Saturday, February 8. Drop by any time between 6:30 and 9 p.m. for classic cross-country skiing as stars twinkle overhead …

Otter Tail County, home to 1,048 lakes, is hosting the 2020 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener May 7 -10. One of the goals of the event will be to highlight the lakes in the county, so anglers from all over are encouraged to fish any body of water in Otter Tail County during the event. Medi…