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The Primitive Fish of the North The Lake Sturgeon Gary Howey

  The Rainy River located on the Minnesota Ontario Canada border flows into Lake of the Woods with both the river and the lake premier destinations for anglers.

  I was one of several hundred outdoor communicators that made their way north to attend our annual Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) 2017 conference held on Lake of the Woods.

  They keep us quite busy at the conference, but there was still time for several side trips including sturgeon fishing, walleye fishing, grouse and waterfowl hunting.

  Since I had never fished for Sturgeon, I was looking forward to tangling with one of these primitive fish that inhabit the waters of the Rainy River.

  Lake Sturgeon, are one of twenty-five species of sturgeon found in North America. They are a prehistoric looking ancient bottom feeder. Their skeleton is primarily made up of cartilage. They are streamlined with their armored coated body having rows of bony plates on both sides and their back and when not handled right cut like razor blades.

  They feed using its elongated snout that has taste buds on and around its lips which protrude down from their head. They, like catfish have  barbells coming down from their mouth, which helps them to locate food.  Their main diet is made up of insect larvae, worms, leeches and other small organisms it picks up from the muddy river bottom. [Read more…]

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It’s all about Presentation! By Gary Howey

  In the past, we talked about locating fish by finding the structure where they’re located. This column will deal with attracting and catching fish once, you’ve located them.

  Presentation is the method you present or deliver your bait to the fish; it’s the key to catching fish because without correct presentation, you’re simply anchoring your bait on or close to the bottom.

  The way you present your bait is important, no matter what bait you’re using, you need to make your bait smell, sound, taste and appear lifelike.

  The key to this is the line, if you’re using too heavy of test or weight of line, it can make your bait appear very unnatural, as it will run through the water in circles or appear erratic.

  Since heavier line has more memory or coiling effect than lighter line, when used with a lighter lure, it won’t appear natural.  If the fish does grab your bait these coils or line memory will create problems not only feeling the bite, but also in setting the hook as you have to deal with all the slack in line in the coils.

Heavier line also has more resistance so it will take more time to reach the bottom. This is especially important when trolling crankbaits as heavier line doesn’t allow your crankbait to dive as deep as the lighter line.

  Another thing that will affect your presentation when using crankbaits, is the way your bait runs through the water and the first thing you should do before trolling a crankbait is to run it along the side of the boat, making sure that it’s tuned or runs correctly.

Your crankbait should run straight not off to either side.  If it runs off to one side or the other, you need to bend the eye, the wire that comes out of the bait in the opposite direction the bait is running.

  Don’t overdo it, as a slight bend is all that’s needed to tune or make your crankbait run correctly and to appear more lifelike. [Read more…]