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Fishing To Be Added As Winter Olympic Event In 2010



Fishing part of the Winter Olympics - Ice Fishing Digest

The Winter Olympics….

Once again the fishing world has been ignored.

As I sit watching a spine tingling, heart thumping, always tension packed Olympic Curling event competition, I can’t help but wonder why a fishing event has never been represented in the Olympics.

What are they trying to say?


Are they saying that there is no athletic prowess involved when trying to flick a #12 Adams to a 20 inch ring created by the kiss of an 18 inch Rainbow trout!

Is the firing of a high powered rifle after skiing around on a pair of wooden planks any more demanding than fording a riffle packed stream and tossing a chunk of powerbait deftly into the “honeyhole” pocket containing an 8 inch stocker?

I see no difference.

But then I’m an idiot.

Or am I? Let’s at least take a look at some future options for the winter Olympics, that can finally give the fisherman his due when it comes to skill and athleticism….


1) What event shows stamina and grit more than ice fishing? I propose a winter Olympic event that is comprised of ice fishing. In this event, contestants will be timed on their ability to saw a hole in 8 to 10 inches of a frozen lake surface, run in sneakers across the frozen ice to a designated staging area where they will grab up a rod, and stool, and sprint back across the ice to the open hole, bait up, and sit for hours in a fierce northern wind. The athlete then will hopefully, eventually catch a fish, pull his fish from the ice hole, drop it in a bucket, and sprint again across the ice, into a 1975 Ford pick- up truck, drive across the finish line to the cheers, flag waving,and cow bell jingling of his fellow countrymen.

More challenges? Perhaps a couple of fellas name Swen and Ole can sit across from the contestant and constantly be throwing a verbal barrage of “You Betcha’s” and “Don’t ya know’s” at the athlete, as he or she agonizingly attempts to coax a fish out of the water.

Talk about grit!!

Of course the Norwegian contingent might not have a problem with this and be at a decided advantage.HOW do you say “you betcha” in Norwegian anyway?

We will all watch as the hole starts to skim over with ice,and the athlete frantically chips away at the hole to keep it ice free.All the while precious time clicks away as the fish only nibbles at the bait.


They can even hold this event indoors at the Olympic Hockey or Figure Skating venues. It might even make the hockey games more interesting with a few holes in the ice, and figure skating?PLEASE… a double axle into a gaping hole in the ice will add more excitement than Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan living in the same trailer park. Or they can leave a few frozen fish on the ice to help add to the Olympic ambiance.

The events could also easily be held as a “two man” competition with one athlete fishing, while the other builds an ice shack.

If the extreme thrill of the Downhill is your cup a tea, imagine if they hold the event on thin melting ice. The now famous runs of Franz Klammer and Hermann Maier will pale in comparison to the crackling of ice beneath the ice fisherman’s stool as he scrambles for shore before disappearing into the frigid waters.

Talk about the agony of defeat….

2)Boat Slalom. Never mind the luge, bobsled, or skeleton(which at first glance appear to require the two major athletic skills of courage and alcohol), try standing up in a drift boat while running a classIV rapid with a 40 pound salmon stripping line off of your reel, hell bent for return to the ocean. Yes, athletes in ten layers of clothing including the mandatory flannel outer jacket, will try to stay afoot while “the driver” navigates the boulder choked channel of a stream. Not only are the contestants timed in this event, but style points are given for the degree of difficulty the athlete shows while doing “gunnel grabs”, “spins”, and the ever popular “aerials”. Throw in a number of slalom gates, and you have the making of an event made for television. Fall in or lose your salmon, and it’s sorry Charlie–see you in four years.


“OOOHHH, tough break Vern–Elwood has been training all his life for this moment, and to see it all go overboard in one instant is heartbreaking….”

3) No offense to our Canadian friends north of the border, but –CURLING!!! CURLING!! A combination of bowling on ice and a group of shop keepers trying to keep the storefront spiffy.

Gawd, the winters must be awful up there.

Outside of the obvious “sex appeal”of the Olympic Curling

events, the only thing more thrilling would be to watch Dick Cheney go quail hunting.

But, given that there is a place on the podium for chiseled curling athletes, I’m sure we could find a spot for the skilled athleticism of the Winter Fly Tying Team !

This event would obviously be dominated by the American squad, which has trained year round in a meat locker in Detroit. Size #28 midge after miserable size #28 midge, the Americans have relentlessly been training, by tying these little buggers to 8x tippet–in a meat locker kept at 14 degrees below zero.


That’s minus 26 celsius for our European competitors.

There at the Olympic Fly Tying arena, in frigid weather, teams of fly tiers will take to the vice, and tie up various flys. We will watch pained expressions and complete intense concentration as athletes try to get their fingers to work in the icy cold. We will hold our breath as they try to get the hackle and dubbing just right. Precious time will tick away as they blow on their hands, and we watch split screen images of just where the Olympic hopefuls lost time along the way.

Of course,in this two day event, athletes will be judged on speed, style,difficulty, and the ability to catch and release fish.

So, here’s to the athletes of the XX th Olympiad, and I will see you fishing rod in hand, in Vancouver in 2010.



Ice Fishing for Crappie: 5 Best Ice Fishing Tips



Ice Fishing for Crappie - Ice Fishing Digest Magazine

When we start talking about ice fishing for crappie, hard water fishermen get excited.

For ice fishermen across the ice belt, crappie is one of the most sought-after species. It is rewarding for an ice fisherman to master crappie fishing on the ice. If you want to find crappie, jig for crappie, and catch crappie at night, you have to follow our best 5 ice fishing crappie tips.

1. How to Find Crappie Ice Fishing

It can be difficult to keep up with the movements of crappie during the winter season. Staying mobile and using a flasher are the best ways to find crappie in the winter. In 5-15 feet of water, early ice crappie will hold the cover of weed lines and thick weed beds.

The healthiest weeds hold the most fish because of their ability to produce oxygen and attract bait. During the winter crappie will move to the basin of the lake and suspend off the bottom.

In the top half of the water column, the crappie suspends where the highest oxygen levels and most bait will be located. The crappie will move back to the shallows after a while. You can use your flasher to mark crappie in the water column before you start fishing.


2. Jigging for Crappie Ice Fishing

During the cold winter months when the fishing waters are frozen over, crappie will hold together in small groups called, pods or schools, they will feed on plankton that frequent heavy vegetation and structure such as underwater brush. and ice fishing lure for crappie that mimics plankton such as a tungsten ice fishing jig is the best ice fishing lure for crappie.

Jigging for crappie is the most popular way to catch crappie during the winter ice fishing season.

Our favorite crappie jigging method works like this:

  1. Drop your ice fishing lure to the bottom and then with your fishing reel – bring your ice fishing lure up a few feet and work a 1–2 foot section of the water column, and if you do not notice any fish action.
  2. Then, move your lure up a few more feet within that water column and perform that same jigging method, keep repeating until you notice some fishing success. The majority of bites occur when your bait is moving upward. You should move from hole to hole until you find active crappies.
  3. If you do not catch any crappie or the fish are just not biting you can opt for a fishing location change or you can try this ice fishing method at another point in the day – such as ice fishing for crappie at night.

Just like us fishermen, the crappie do not always feed on a dedicated schedule, so ice fishing at variable times of the day can oftentimes improve your ice fishing results and help you place more slab crappie on the ice.

3. Crappie Ice Fishing at Night

The peak bite times for crappie are dawn and dusk, with crappie feeding most active during the night hours. It’s important for you as an ice fisherman to take advantage of these crappie fishing times to catch the most active crappie in your ice fishing location.

Crappie jigging is most effective when done at night when fish are active and feeding. You should use crappie ice fishing jigs that are bright and colorful. Ice fishing lures such as soft plastic ice fishing baits can be added to a tungsten ice jig. This ice fishing lure setup will definitely attract the attention of hungry, (nighttime) feeding crappie.

If the night fishing is tough, we then recommend sticking with a simple ice fishing setup consisting of an ice fishing pole with a live crappie minnow or even a fathead minnow to convince picky fish into biting your bait.


Where fishing regulations allow, a glow stick or underwater light can be used to help illuminate your bait and underwater fishing area when ice fishing crappie at night. Using the glow stick or underwater light fishing trick for ice fishing crappie will help you to attract small baitfish and plankton all of which crappie are attracted to feeding on.

Ice Fishing Gear Talked About in This Story

learn more about each item by clicking on the item

4. Where to Ice Fishing Crappie

Heavy Vegetation

You can find out where the crappie is holding by looking at the seasonal patterns that affect oxygen and light levels. Remember that when ice fishing crappie you’ll find them in and around shallow vegetation during early and late ice, and in the basins or deeper water areas during the mid-winter and late winter ice.

Underwater Ledges

The crappie prefer ledges because they give them quick access to deep water during the winter. The best crapping fishing ledges can be found close to where creek and river channels intersect with each other, along the outer sides of a river bend, and along the edges of the bluffs. There are sunken brush piles on the ledges that are home to the largest concentrations of crappie.


Concrete Pillars or Concrete Pillions

There are many attractive features for wintertime crappie near concrete pillars or concrete pillions, whichever the case maybe. The sun warms the concrete of the pillars and/or pillions and the water surrounding those bridge supports, which attracts the fish. Crappie in and around concrete cover can be found at a number of depths across the span of the bridge, thanks to the fact that the bridge will have a supporting row of pilings running from shallow to deep water all of which locations would be suitable to fish for crappie in the winter. These winter sanctuaries are enriched by savvy anglers who like to try to stack the odds in their favor in the coming winter months by tying brush piles together and then dropping them next to the concrete pillars and pillions thus creating amazing winter crappie habitat.

5. Using Ice Fishing Sonar for Ice Fishing Crappie

There are a lot of benefits to having an ice fishing sonar unit on the ice.

You can easily find the drop-offs, holes, and hidden structures under the water that can concentrate fish in the winter. The important transition zones between the hard and soft bottom areas can be found with the help of a sonar display.

By making use of an ice fishing sonar you can literally watch the crappies’ reaction to your ice fishing lure, you can then adjust your ice fishing jigging strategy to help entice the crappie to strike. Which makes the use of an ice fishing sonar system very favorable among many a fisherman.

At a range of price points, there are many options for ice fishing sonar units. Basic units start at around $300, while feature-loaded ice fishing sonar combo units that include underwater video can cost up to $1,000.


It is difficult to do an apples-to-apples comparison of all ice fishing sonars because they have so many different features.

Instead, ice fishermen should choose between the flashers and the liquid crystal display units, which are the main categories of portable sonar.

With the same starter costs, it’s difficult to decide whether to buy a flasher or an LCD unit. There are pros and cons to both styles and they will help you catch fish.

It is up to the individual to decide which basic and advanced features are worth having, and whether or not to pick an ice fishing sonar or underwater camera package for ice fishing.

There is no perfect ice fishing sonar unit for every ice fisherman, and there is no shortage of options. When shopping for an ice fishing sonar unit, remember to consider your budget, target species, style of fishing, and comfort zone for learning new technology. Regardless of the ice fishing sonar unit you choose, it will no doubt help you put more fish on the ice this winter.


In Conclusion

Remember to stay mobile and make use of your ice fishing electronics until you catch some fish. Don’t forget when ice fishing for crappie it’s a good idea to mix in live bait like fathead and crappie minnows for when the crappie are just not biting on your ice fishing lures of choice.

You can also try ice fishing for crappie with ice fishing lures that mimic minnows for those larger, more aggressive feeding crappie, because these ice fishing lures usually represent baits that mimic the typical food source, plankton, which crappie actively feed on.

We hope that these ice fishing tips for crappie this ice fishing season and ice fishing seasons to come.

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Wardens Save Souped-up Skunk on Oconto County lake



This skunk enjoyed the soup too much.

Soup often is considered one of those cozy, comfort foods that are akin to wearing an electric blanket in your gut.

And then there is the skunk’s version. Let’s call it concussion comfort, shall we?

Jam that heads into the soup can as far as possible — and get every single last hint of taste until the cylinder is licked clean.

This skunk enjoyed the soup too much.

This skunk enjoyed the soup too much.


Then what?

Wait for someone to come with the dessert tray – complete with pliers. Or, tap dance in a circle until someone notices that something is not quite right with one of our wildlife friends. In this case, it was a person ice fishing as the skunk waddled about.

So, the angler called 911 to report a skunk wearing a soup can on White Potato Lake in Oconto County.

OK, we give. Let’s go! Wardens Jamin Leuzzo and Tim Werner responded to the scene on Monday, March 9, not sure what they would find. Sure enough, the report was spot on – or make that, soup’s on!

There was the skunk neck-deep in a soup can. It truly was not funny so they quickly hatched a plan. One would approach the skunk with a box and trap it before wearing its cologne. Warden Jamin Leuzzo did OK. The box? Not so lucky.


Warden Jamin Leuzzo approaches to help free the skunk.

Warden Jamin Leuzzo approaches to help free the skunk.

Once the skunk was inside the box, Warden Tim Werner approached the perturbed skunk from the safer end, put his hand under the lifted box end and freed the skunk’s head from the can. The wardens quickly backed off as the box was tossed. The skunk skedaddled off the ice pretty quickly – no doubt in search of a slice of pie and a cup of coffee.

As Warden Tim concludes: “Just another day in the life of a warden!” Time to add skunk-saver to the skill set list. Stay safe out there!

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay reported information to conservation wardens.

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DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac : Jan 11, 2021 | News Release



Ice Fishing on Lake In Winter Ice Fishing Digest Magazine

Learn how to ice fish with angler Mandy Uhrich

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is presenting an ice fishing webinar from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14. During the webinar, pro angler Mandy Uhrich will teach the basics of ice fishing and demonstrate the equipment and techniques used for this winter tradition. The webinar is free, open to the public and registration is required.

Provide input on 2020 deer populations and observations

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on 2020 deer populations and observations using an online survey. The survey includes questions about experiences hunters had during the deer hunting season, issues related to damage deer might do to crops, landscaping or gardens and other deer-related issues. This year the DNR will also ask for input on several proposed deer permit area boundary changes and will use the feedback to shape regulations for the 2021 hunting season. The survey is open through Friday, Jan. 29, and further details are on the DNR website.

Reminder: Deer feeding ban in effect

Deer feeding and attractant restrictions remain in place in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Rice, Scott and Washington counties. These counties were added on July 1, 2020, to the bans already were in place in the following counties affected by chronic wasting disease: Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Hubbard, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena and Winona. Keeping food and attractants away from deer helps limit interaction and close contact among deer that can spread chronic wasting disease, especially this time of year when artificial sources of food may draw deer.

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