Fishing the Midwest ON ICE Debuts in Early December

November 25, 2015 by  

Fishing the Midwest ON ICE Debuts in Early December

Fishing the Midwest ON ICE will debut on televisions across the Ice-Belt beginning the first weekend of December. Fishing the Midwest ON ICE will air on network affiliates and major cable networks according to Bob Jensen and Mike Frisch, the co-hosts of Fishing the Midwest On ICE. Fishing the Midwest ON ICE is an extension […]

Fishing Accessories Galore at ICAST

July 17, 2015 by  

Fishing Accessories Galore at ICAST

by Craig Ritchie From tackle boxes to high performance rain suits, tackle manufacturers have pulled out all the stops with an incredible range of new products unveiled this week at the ICAST fishing tackle trade show, held in Orlando, Florida. Plano exhibited a number of new tackle boxes, including a Women’s Series of soft-sided tackle […]

Next Generation Rods and Reels Unspooled at ICAST 2015

July 17, 2015 by  

Next Generation Rods and Reels Unspooled at ICAST 2015

by Craig Ritchie One expects to see new technologies introduced at the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show, and manufacturers did not disappoint with numerous new rod and reel introductions at ICAST, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from July 15 to 17, 2015. Leading the way from Abu Garcia are the […]

Hundreds of New Baits Unveiled at ICAST

July 17, 2015 by  

Hundreds of New Baits Unveiled at ICAST

by Craig Ritchie Anglers will face tough choices when shopping for new lures next spring as manufacturers unveil a wide range of new hard and soft baits this week at ICAST, the world’s largest fishing tackle trade show. More than 11,000 people representing manufacturers, buyers, dealers and reps from around the globe are on hand […]

Tips for Loading and Unloading Your Boat

May 18, 2015 by  

Tips for Loading and Unloading Your Boat

by Bob Jensen How you load and unload your boat at the boat ramp may not have an impact on how many fish you catch, but getting it in the water can set the tone for the day, for you and for any other angler that’s waiting to put their boat in the water.  Unloading […]

Hunting and Fishing Bills in North Dakota

May 13, 2015 by  

Hunting and Fishing Bills in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   The 2015 North Dakota legislative session recently wrapped up. While the number of bills related to hunting, fishing, trapping and outdoor recreation was down somewhat from previous years, it was still a busy session as the North Dakota Game and Fish Department tracked 23 outdoors-related bills, 12 of which were passed […]

Clear Lake Success

May 12, 2015 by  

Clear Lake Success

By Bob Jensen Too much of the time we hear about bodies of water or fish species that are experiencing problems, and it’s good that we learn about those problems because if we don’t know about them, we can’t fix them.  We’re often hearing about the water being too dirty or too clear, the fish […]

Fishing Season Travel Checklists

May 6, 2015 by  

Fishing Season Travel Checklists

by Doug Leier To the delight of many anglers, spring fishing this year got an early start, and few seasoned residents of North Dakota will ever lament a shorter winter. From the Red River and Devils Lake to the Yellowstone, there was no shortage of open water. And, with lower fuel and transportation costs than […]

Catch the Biters

May 5, 2015 by  

Catch the Biters

By Bob Jensen   As we enter a new open water fishing season, it’s good to get some thoughts together regarding changes in fishing techniques and fishing ideas.  Some of us consider ourselves to be “walleye fishermen”, some fit the bill as “bass fishermen”, others narrow it down even more and proclaim themselves to be […]

Paddlefish Snagging Season in North Dakota

April 29, 2015 by  

Paddlefish Snagging Season in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   One of my first work details after I became a game warden in 1996 was as part of a detail during the paddlefish snagging season. And since then I’ve watched them, weighed them, even tried the caviar, but I’ve never landed one of the prehistoric native fish that can weigh well […]

Spring Fishing Suggestions

April 27, 2015 by  

Spring Fishing Suggestions

By Bob Jensen   As the days get warmer and longer, more anglers are making it to the lake or river or pond in search of a fish that wants to get caught.  Fish, being the coldblooded creatures that they are, respond to our lure presentations differently depending on the season.  They like their lures […]

Spring Fishing Opportunities

April 22, 2015 by  

Spring Fishing Opportunities

by Doug Leier   My first open-water cast of the 2015 fishing season came before spring turkey season, and even before Easter. While the first fish of the year didn’t happen on the same trip, it was reason to smile. Just getting outdoors in early April without mud boots or winter jacket was enough to […]

Fishing Questions

April 20, 2015 by  

Fishing Questions

By Bob Jensen   I was at the Walleye Classic at the Cabela’s stores in Owatonna and Rogers Minnesota recently.  I presented a walleye seminar at each store and spent a good amount of time talking with anglers about walleye fishing and fishing in general.  I always enjoy participating in these events.  I try to […]

Whopping Crane Populations and Preservation

April 15, 2015 by  

Whopping Crane Populations and Preservation

by Doug Leier   The spring snow goose season opened in mid-February and honestly leading up to it the open winter and unseasonably warm weather had hunters and biologist alike thinking, “..this just might be the year birds are here before March…” As luck and meteorologists would have it a more typical weather cycle settled […]

Consider Color For More Fishing Success

April 14, 2015 by  

Consider Color For More Fishing Success

By Bob Jensen As we get closer to the 2015 open water fishing season being in full gear, it’s fun and productive to think about and talk about some things that can affect our fishing success, and there are a good number of those things.  Some of those considerations involve the lures we choose to […]

Deer Hunting Numbers in North Dakota

April 8, 2015 by  

Deer Hunting Numbers in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   One of the primary benchmarks that North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists use to assess deer populations and hunter satisfaction is the success rate by gun hunters. Over time, a success rate of around 70 percent means hunters are generally satisfied with deer numbers and hunting opportunities. Last year, the […]

Early Season Northern Pike

April 7, 2015 by  

Early Season Northern Pike

By Bob Jensen   When anglers gather and the talk turns to early season fishing, walleyes are a popular topic in many areas.  In other regions, chasing largemouth bass gets the conversation going, and in other areas, it’s crappies.  One fish that is ignored, or at least doesn’t generate as much early season fishing interest […]

Youth Wildlife Programs in North Dakota

April 1, 2015 by  

Youth Wildlife Programs in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   My interest in fishing and hunting began long before specific opportunities we’re designed to encourage young hunters and anglers. The 1980s didn’t have youth deer, waterfowl and pheasant seasons, or special turkey licenses, just to name just a few. I do remember that the local Jaycee’s sponsored some youth BB gun […]

Early Spring Walleyes in Rivers

April 1, 2015 by  

Early Spring Walleyes in Rivers

By Bob Jensen Across the Midwest, walleye anglers are getting into boats and waders and are chasing walleyes.  Jigging is perhaps the most popular way to catch walleyes this time of year.  Jigs are popular because they’re effective.  Following are some ideas for using jigs to catch walleyes in rivers right now. Most rivers throughout […]

Licensing and Certification for Spring Light Goose Season 2015

March 25, 2015 by  

Licensing and Certification for Spring Light Goose Season 2015

by Doug Leier Signs of spring honestly began weeks ago. For me, the first bald eagle pairs setting up their nests in February is proof that winter is losing its grip, and this year the turn of March brought unseasonably mild and record-breaking temperatures. The annual college basketball championship game and the first pitch of […]

Planning for Open Water Fishing

March 25, 2015 by  

Planning for Open Water Fishing

By Bob Jensen My ice-fishing is officially done until ice returns next fall.  Now it’s time to start thinking about open water fishing.  Every new year brings new things to add or consider adding to my fishing.  In the open water fishing season of 2015, I’ve got some new things that I will be trying, […]

North Dakota Big Game Hunting

March 24, 2015 by  

North Dakota Big Game Hunting

by Doug Leier   While it’s a long way from the nearest big game hunting season, the last month or so has had its fair share of North Dakota big game hunting news. Harvest statistics for moose, elk and bighorn sheep came out in February, followed by 2015 moose and elk season details in early […]

Last Ice Fishing Trip For Now

March 17, 2015 by  

Last Ice Fishing Trip For Now

By Bob Jensen   I just returned from what will probably be my last ice-fishing trip until ice returns later this year.  We were on Lake Winnibigoshish in north central Minnesota.  I was fishing with my friend Craig Brown who, along with his wife Paige, own McArdle’s Resort on Winnie.  Craig spends a lot of […]

Game Warden Statistics for North Dakota

March 11, 2015 by  

Game Warden Statistics for North Dakota

by Doug Leier   Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department provides a report on the number of citations issued by state game wardens the previous year. The statistics for 2014, recently published in the February 2015 issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine, carry some not-so-positive news: Game wardens cited a record number […]

An Ice Fishing Buffet

March 9, 2015 by  

An Ice Fishing Buffet

By Bob Jensen   I went ice-fishing last week and had a wonderful time on two levels.  First of all, we caught lots of fish, big and small, and of several different species. Secondly, it was encouraging and exciting to be on a lake that has become an outstanding fishery in the past few years.  […]

Licensing and Regulation Reminders for Spring Season

March 4, 2015 by  

Licensing and Regulation Reminders for Spring Season

by Doug Leier   A couple of decades ago March was typically sort of a down time for outdoor activity in North Dakota, but that’s no longer the case. With fishing season for game fish now open year-round instead of closing around the first weekend in March, plus the advent of the spring light goose […]

Time to Start Planning For Open Water Fishing

March 3, 2015 by  

Time to Start Planning For Open Water Fishing

By Bob Jensen   In some areas of the Midwest, open water fishing is still several weeks away.  In other areas of the Midwest, especially rivers, anglers are on the water chasing walleyes, sauger, panfish, and whatever else.  Regardless of where you live, now is a good time to consider the following ideas as to […]

Bald Eagle Sightings in North Dakota

February 27, 2015 by  

Bald Eagle Sightings in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   Last week driving near the Fargodome in north Fargo, I was scanning the road ahead and I spotted a bald eagle. Then another. Then another. One of my kids noticed it, but the others in the car didn’t seem too interested. We didn’t stop. I didn’t turn down the radio, point, […]

Last Ice Fishing Trip of the Year

February 24, 2015 by  

Last Ice Fishing Trip of the Year

By Bob Jensen   For some of us, the ice-fishing season of 2015 is history.  For others, there are still a few more days on the ice in our near future.  I’ve got trips scheduled through the middle of March, and if I get lucky, there will be a couple more trips after that.  If […]

Fishing Creel Surveys in North Dakota

February 18, 2015 by  

Fishing Creel Surveys in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   Most of my life I’ve been curious and inquisitive on how different factors influence what we do, where we go and how we spend our time and money outdoors. So I’ll be very interested in the results of an ice fishing survey the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is conducting […]

There’s Still Lots of Time for Ice Fishing

February 17, 2015 by  

There’s Still Lots of Time for Ice Fishing

By Bob Jensen   In some of the places where people go ice-fishing, a few of the ice-fishing seasons are starting to wind down, or in some places, they’re over.  Walleye season closes in some areas, but there is still lots of ice-fishing to take advantage of.  As the ice-fishing season winds down, we need […]

Watchable Wildlife Program Projects

February 12, 2015 by  

Watchable Wildlife Program Projects

by Doug Leier   When you stop and focus as you are driving or walking across North Dakota, you’ll realize the majority of wild animals don’t fall into the “game” or “hunted” category. And yet, the few species for which hunting or fishing is allowed attract the lion’s share of concerns from people who enjoy […]

Which Boat is Best For You?

February 9, 2015 by  

Which Boat is Best For You?

By Bob Jensen   It’s Boat Show and Sportshow season across North America.  It’s also the season when many anglers and boaters are looking for a different boat for the upcoming fishing and boating season.  There are lots of options available.  If you’re going to be looking for a new-to-you boat to go fishing in, […]

Wild Turkey Hunting Season 2015 Licenses

February 4, 2015 by  

Wild Turkey Hunting Season 2015 Licenses

by Doug Leier   Even with my North Dakota outdoors lineage, I’m guilty of sometimes losing sight of how fortunate we are to enjoy such a variety of opportunities. One of those is wild turkey hunting, both in spring and fall. Right now a lot of positive attention is directed at high duck, goose, walleye, […]

Adapt for More Fishing Success

February 3, 2015 by  

Adapt for More Fishing Success

By Bob Jensen   There are times in fishing, as in life, that if we want to be successful, we need to change our plans:  We need to adapt. We may have a plan for a day on the water of chasing bass, but conditions aren’t suited for our plans.  If we want to catch […]

News and Notes for ND Hunters and Anglers

January 28, 2015 by  

News and Notes for ND Hunters and Anglers

By Doug Leier Every so often I catch myself with a few pieces of news and notes that might not generate a full column, but are worthy of passing along as reminders. Here’s what I’ve got for you this week. Tracking North Dakota Legislation For starters, with the 2015 North Dakota legislative session underway, tracking  […]

Different Lure Actions for Different Fish

January 26, 2015 by  

Different Lure Actions for Different Fish

By Bob Jensen A lot of factors can determine how many fish we’ll catch through the ice.  Color is important:  So is lure size.  How the bait is attached to your line can be a consideration.  A small jig attached to your line with a big, bulky snap/swivel probably won’t be as effective as that […]

Proposed Opening Days for 2015 Hunting Season

January 21, 2015 by  

Proposed Opening Days for 2015 Hunting Season

By Doug Leier Most hunting seasons wrapped up with the Jan. 4 closure of small game and archery deer seasons. While those coveted opening days are now more than half a year away, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to fall 2015. For many hunters, the long- and short-term planning is part of […]

A Recent Ice Fishing Trip

January 19, 2015 by  

A Recent Ice Fishing Trip

By Bob Jensen I just got back from an ice-fishing trip to Big Stone Lake.  Big Stone straddles the Minnesota/South Dakota border and is an outstanding fishery for a variety of fish species, but it’s the perch that brought us to Big Stone on this trip.  Big Stone has become one of the Midwest’s premier […]

Don’t Forget These Rules When You’re Out on the Ice

January 14, 2015 by  

Don’t Forget These Rules When You’re Out on the Ice

By Doug Leier Some years in mid-January, ice fishing is just getting into full swing. But that’s certainly not the case this winter. Because of a prolonged cold spell that hit right after the deer opener, some folks have been on the ice since before Thanksgiving. On the other hand, many hunters have just recently […]

Keep Moving for More Fish

January 12, 2015 by  

Keep Moving for More Fish

By Bob Jensen As we get farther into the ice fishing season, it becomes important that we vary our methods for catching fish a little bit.  Early in the season, when snow cover was light and the ice was thin, it was a good idea to sit on a spot for awhile.  Now that the […]

A Look Ahead to 2015

January 8, 2015 by  

A Look Ahead to 2015

By Doug Leier Looking ahead to 2015, it’s hard not to get excited, or stay excited, about the excellent fishing prospects that lie ahead for North Dakota. None of us who are anglers today have ever lived through a time when the state has had more fishing waters than it does right now. Many of […]

Keep Warm on the Ice

January 7, 2015 by  

Keep Warm on the Ice

By Bob Jensen It got cold again! And that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.  It’s good, because the ice is getting thicker and safer across most of the ice-fishing region.  That means more anglers will be on the ice in the near future. It also means that it’s easier for those ice-anglers […]

A Look Back on 2014

January 2, 2015 by  

A Look Back on 2014

By Doug Leier It’s that time of year again when a lot of us take a look back at the past 365 days. For me it’s an enjoyable exercise as I can sift through my weekly columns to see how the year unfolded from an outdoors perspective. And it’s nice to have that printed record […]

A Fishing Look Forward

December 30, 2014 by  

A Fishing Look Forward

by Bob Jensen About this time in years past, I’ve done a look back:  Kind of a review of things pertaining to fishing that happened in the past fishing season.  This year, we’re going to take a look forward at the fishing seasons, open water and ice, to come.  Here we go! Ice-fishing got off […]

Respect Our Outdoors – Don’t Litter!

December 25, 2014 by  

Respect Our Outdoors – Don’t Litter!

By Doug Leier Many of my outdoors destinations tend to attract higher use than a secluded badlands nook, a Turtle Mountains hideout or even a tucked away Missouri Coteau wetland. I spend plenty of time fishing at busy public access points, and hunting public land where sometimes there might be others who have the same […]

Factors That Influence Fishing Success

December 23, 2014 by  

Factors That Influence Fishing Success

By Bob Jensen Recently we talked about how lure color can have an influence in our fishing success.  And, while color can certainly have a role in determining how many fish we catch, there are other factors that also come into play in our fishing success.  Let’s talk about some of those factors. Size is […]

The Best of Ice Fishing in North Dakota

December 17, 2014 by  

The Best of Ice Fishing in North Dakota

By Doug Leier When I think of what “good ice fishing” means, I have to approach it from two different time sets. In one set, I think of myself as a young kid in LaMoure in the 1980s, ice fishing with my dad. We’d spend our time sitting on 5-gallon buckets and even straw bales, […]

Consider Color for More Fish

December 16, 2014 by  

Consider Color for More Fish

By Bob Jensen Whether you’re fishing in open water or through the ice, the color of your lure can affect how many fish you catch.  That is especially obvious when an angler is fishing through the ice and is watching a depth-finder.  You see everything that goes on directly below that hole.  If a fish […]

The Good News and the Not-So-Good News for Winter 2015

December 11, 2014 by  

The Good News and the Not-So-Good News for Winter 2015

By Doug Leier Most years there’s no shortage of attention grabbers in late fall, with deer season coming and going and the wrap-up of fall sports and harvest and the early stages of the holidays. Such concentration of activity sometimes prevents us from keeping up with an array of hunting and fishing information, and the […]

Fish Differently for Different Fish

December 8, 2014 by  

Fish Differently for Different Fish

By Bob Jensen  An angler new to ice-fishing and I were having a conversation recently about the sport.  He had some questions, which I tried to answer.  When we got to the topic of various fish species and how they need to be approached differently, my new friend got a little suspicious.  He wanted to […]

Are You Ready for Some Ice Fishing?

December 3, 2014 by  

Are You Ready for Some Ice Fishing?

By Doug Leier November for many outdoorsmen and women is a gradual transition from October’s ducks and geese into deer and late-season pheasant hunting. But this year, the second week of November came with near-record cold and early ice that signaled dread for those who lament long Midwest winters, but probably warmed the hearts of […]

A Different Style of Ice Fishing

December 2, 2014 by  

A Different Style of Ice Fishing

by Bob Jensen  There is no question that ice-fishing season has arrived early in the Midwest.  For those of us who like to go ice-fishing, that’s a good thing. I and some of my friends are going about our ice-fishing a little differently this year.  It’s going to be even more fun, and even more […]

Want to be a Game Warden? You’ve Got Your Chance on December 29

November 26, 2014 by  

Want to be a Game Warden? You’ve Got Your Chance on December 29

By Doug Leier Leading off with, “It seems like yesterday,” is a pretty good qualifier to acknowledge I’m not a kid anymore. Fact is, it’s been 20 years since I took my final college exam, and also took the North Dakota Game and Fish Department game warden exam, which is the first step in the […]

Put a Glow in Your Fishing

November 25, 2014 by  

Put a Glow in Your Fishing

by Bob Jensen Lure presentation is always an important part of fishing success.  Of course, you have to find them before you can catch them, but in open water or while ice-fishing, once you find the fish, you have to make them bite.  One way to make them bite more often, which I learned quite […]

FAQ About Proposed Changes To 2015 Deer License Regulations

November 19, 2014 by  

FAQ About Proposed Changes To 2015 Deer License Regulations

By Doug Leier Every fall, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department advisory board meetings, which typically start the day after deer gun season ends, are a forum to talk deer hunting. This year, there’s a new proposal for distributing deer licenses on the table for 2015, which will no doubt add to the conversation. […]

Trust Your Depth-Finder For More Ice Fishing Success

November 18, 2014 by  

Trust Your Depth-Finder For More Ice Fishing Success

By Bob Jensen  The pond froze over early this year, at least two weeks early. In most years, it would still be a month before ice comes to the small body of water that I see most days.  Although the ice isn’t safe yet, if the weather stays like it has been the past few […]

Finding Fulfillment in the Great Outdoors

November 12, 2014 by  

Finding Fulfillment in the Great Outdoors

By Doug Leier Hunting conversations sometimes have a number of words that are owned and defined by the hunter and the context in which they are used. For instance, a “nice deer” or a “big buck” may not even be on the same page in the same conversation between any two hunters. Sometimes, people are […]

The Kids Aren’t Having As Much Fun

November 10, 2014 by  

The Kids Aren’t Having As Much Fun

by Bob Jensen Throughout the Midwest and probably other parts of North America, there are some lakes that have special fishing regulations. Not many lakes, but a few.  These special regulations greatly restrict the number of fish you can keep when you go fishing.  These lakes are few and far between, and they’re usually smaller […]

Take Care of Your Kill, From Field to Fork

November 5, 2014 by  

Take Care of Your Kill, From Field to Fork

By Doug Leier Growing up in rural North Dakota, I don’t think my parents would argue that I likely ate as many grouse, duck, partridge and venison meals as pizza. In LaMoure, where at the time “fast food” was rabbit or pronghorn, a frozen pizza or rare evening at the Big Cone was a treat. […]

A Fishing Lesson

November 3, 2014 by  

A Fishing Lesson

by Bob Jensen  I went fishing last week in eastern Wisconsin with smallmouth ace Mike Gottheardt.  The wind was blowing and it was chilly.  It felt more like hunting season, and for many outdoors-people it was.  We heard frequent gunshots.  A weather front was going through, and that can often create tough fishing.  But when […]

North Dakota Deer Hunting FAQ

October 29, 2014 by  

North Dakota Deer Hunting FAQ

Every year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department – by calling (701) 328-6300 or printing it off the website at gf.nd.gov […]

Catch a Bunch in the Fall

October 27, 2014 by  

Catch a Bunch in the Fall

by Bob Jensen I got to fishing again this past week. My friend Mike Gottheardt and I were chasing smallmouth bass on a river in eastern Wisconsin.  We caught ’em good: Lots of smallmouth and some nice ones at that.  Nothing that would be considered a trophy, but some healthy bass that fought hard and […]

Hunting Highlights from 125 Years of Statehood

October 22, 2014 by  

Hunting Highlights from 125 Years of Statehood

By Doug Leier As North Dakota gives pause to acknowledge its 125th anniversary of statehood, much will be made of its history, and thoughts of how the state will age into the future. And some of that history will revolve around wildlife and the outdoors, from the fur trade that attracted early explorers, to decimation […]

Thoughts on the 2014 Open Water Fishing Season

October 21, 2014 by  

Thoughts on the 2014 Open Water Fishing Season

By Bob Jensen For many anglers, the 2014 open water fishing season is in the books.  While there is still plenty of open water fishing to do, many anglers are doing different things this time of year.  If you’re one of those anglers, you need to be sure you winterized your boat motor.  I run […]

Make the Most of Your PLOTS Experience This Fall

October 17, 2014 by  

Make the Most of Your PLOTS Experience This Fall

By Doug Leier The popularity of North Dakota’s Private Land Open to Sportsmen program has created somewhat of an expectation for hunters. This year, the state has roughly 735,000 acres in the program and many hunters use these areas for at least some of their hunting experiences. And that’s basically the primary intention of PLOTS […]

Give the Fish What They Want

October 14, 2014 by  

Give the Fish What They Want

by Bob Jensen I went fishing last week.  The open water season is winding down, but there is still plenty of time to get out.  One word of advice:  Prepare for chilly weather.  One day last week when we hit the water, the air temp was thirty four degrees at eight o’clock in the morning, […]

How a Simple Band Helps Scientists Study Bird Behavior

October 8, 2014 by  

How a Simple Band Helps Scientists Study Bird Behavior

By Doug Leier I’ve learned through watching, listening and observing my kids how routine questions can often perplex adults. It’s easy to just brush it off with a quick reply of “I don’t know” or some other redirection response. Often I’ll patiently try to explain why food, habitat and weather conditions cause different bird species […]

A Smorgasbord of Fall Fishing

October 6, 2014 by  

A Smorgasbord of Fall Fishing

By Bob Jensen My recent fishing trips have reminded me of how productive fall fishing can be, and they have also reminded me of how active so many species of fish are at this time of year.  In the spring, some fish get active early, shortly after ice-out, while others don’t start eating until the […]

The Many Hats of Game & Fish

October 1, 2014 by  

The Many Hats of Game & Fish

By Doug Leier My job as an outreach biologist is everything from working with local media and civic and school groups, to checking on possible fish kills, and even surveillance of moose or other critters in places we’d rather not have them. I enjoy the variety and never pursued a career in natural resources with […]

Going Fishing Again

September 29, 2014 by  

Going Fishing Again

by Bob Jensen I went fishing last week.  I’m going fishing again this week, and if things work out, I’ll be going fishing the next week also.  Just a couple of days per trip, but what wonderful days they can be this time of year.  The trees were just starting to get some color last […]

Drop-Shot Rigs for More Fall Fish

September 22, 2014 by  

Drop-Shot Rigs for More Fall Fish

By Bob Jensen For some reason, autumn is the time of year when I feel the need to share the productivity of drop-shot rigs.  It’s probably because the first time I ever tried drop-shotting was in the fall at least twenty years ago.  My friend Barry Day had just returned from a trip to the […]

How to Report a Game Violation

September 18, 2014 by  

How to Report a Game Violation

By Doug Leier With fall hunting seasons rolling out almost every week now since Labor Day weekend, I field, hear and read many discussions on rules, regulations, poaching and “what if” scenarios. Sometimes they’re as simple as what to do or who to call if you witness something suspicious, like someone shooting at ducks during […]

Shallow Water Largemouth in the Fall

September 16, 2014 by  

Shallow Water Largemouth in the Fall

By Bob Jensen When I moved to north central Minnesota waaaaay too many years ago, I liked to chase largemouth bass.  Many of my friends thought that was strange, as walleyes were the preferred fish of many anglers in the north during that era.  And while it was true that walleyes were available in many […]

Don’t Forget to Participate in the 2014 Upland Game Wing Survey

September 10, 2014 by  

Don’t Forget to Participate in the 2014 Upland Game Wing Survey

By Doug Leier As a life-long resident of North Dakota, I take pride in knowing that hunters contribute more to our outdoor heritage than just license dollars. Something as simple as voluntarily reporting violations goes a long way to assist game wardens in doing their jobs, and many poachers are caught each year because hunters […]

Falling for Panfish

September 9, 2014 by  

Falling for Panfish

By Bob Jensen  I’ve said it so many times, and I don’t like to be redundant, but the autumn period is a wonderful time to go fishing for pretty much any species of gamefish that swims in the Midwest.  Walleyes, bass, northern pike; even muskies are susceptible to an angler’s presentation in the fall.  Crappies […]

Sometimes I Miss Mending Fences…

September 4, 2014 by  

Sometimes I Miss Mending Fences…

By Doug Leier Like a lot of people my age and older, my early impression of a wildlife professional was the Marlon Perkins/Jim Fowler “Wild Kingdom” type who millions of people got to see working directly with wild animals in exotic places. At age 18, in my first summer of field work for the U.S. […]

Night-Bite Walleyes

September 2, 2014 by  

Night-Bite Walleyes

by Bob Jensen If you want to catch a big walleye, fall is a time when your odds of doing so are probably the best.  Spring can provide an opportunity to take a trophy, but the season is closed in many areas of walleye country.  For many walleyes chasers, autumn is the most consistent producer […]

2014 Hunting Season Officially Opens in North Dakota

August 27, 2014 by  

2014 Hunting Season Officially Opens in North Dakota

By Doug Leier The first official hunting season of 2014 has been open since Aug. 9 when the fall crow season began. While I’d venture to guess that very few people gathered the evening before to strategize for the crow opener in the same way they will for waterfowl (residents Sept. 27) pheasant (Oct. 11) […]

Thinking About Fall Fishing

August 26, 2014 by  

Thinking About Fall Fishing

By Bob Jensen For many people, Labor Day marks the end of summer or the beginning of fall, depending on how you look at it.  For some anglers, Labor Day marks the end of the fishing season; for other anglers, Labor Day is the beginning of the best time of the year to be fishing.  […]

2014 PLOTS Guide Now Available Online

August 21, 2014 by  

2014 PLOTS Guide Now Available Online

By Doug Leier The much anticipated annual North Dakota Private Land Open To Sportsmen or PLOTS Guide is now available. The printed version likely won’t hit the usual outlets such as license vendors, county auditor offices and Game and Fish Department offices until the first week of September, but the online version has already generated a flurry of activity. In just the first day after […]

A Mid-Summer Bass Trip

August 18, 2014 by  

A Mid-Summer Bass Trip

by Bob Jensen  Last week, my nephew Sam and I took our annual bass trip to west central Minnesota.  We’ve been doing this for about ten years and have only missed one year.  Sam was in grade school when we started doing this; this week he heads off to college.  Time flies. In all those […]

Game & Fish Department Unveils New Mobile Mapping Apps

August 13, 2014 by  

Game & Fish Department Unveils New Mobile Mapping Apps

By Doug Leier I’ve tried to really determine if my wandering outdoor excursions are a genetic characteristic or just learned behavior that I enjoy. Some of my favorite trips out hunting, fishing or just exploring are nothing more than coincidence or luck. Many times, we’ll set off without even a predetermined plan of north, south, […]

Keep it Simple for More Fish

August 11, 2014 by  

Keep it Simple for More Fish

by Bob Jensen Fishing is different things to different people.  Some folks like to consider every aspect of why a fish was caught on a certain bait, was in a particular location at that time, and why that fish decided to bite just then.  That’s great.  Curious anglers catch lots of fish and often are […]

North Dakota Game & Fish Helps Keep Fish Population Robust

August 6, 2014 by  

North Dakota Game & Fish Helps Keep Fish Population Robust

By Doug Leier The well documented and discussed wet cycle and expansion of fisheries is not new to most anglers, or even people who don’t fish. Anyone over the age of 25 can attest to the continuing growth and expansion of water and fisheries in North Dakota. While the slow accumulation of new water on […]

Another Trip to Kab

August 5, 2014 by  

Another Trip to Kab

by Bob Jensen  I just returned from my most recent trip to Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota.  Kab is a 25,000 acre lake that has lots of islands.  Lots of islands means that you can almost always find a place to fish regardless of wind conditions.  Kab has a tremendous walleye population and is also […]

Catch and Release Fishing Tips for the Everyday Angler

July 30, 2014 by  

Catch and Release Fishing Tips for the Everyday Angler

By Doug Leier In a day and age where society churns out new acronyms about as fast as smartphone apps, it’s no wonder that people start to forget what FFA or KFC even stand for anymore. In some ways, when CRP is synonymous with habitat and ANS is quickly associated with threats to aquatic habitat, […]

Planer Boards: Not Just for Walleyes

July 28, 2014 by  

Planer Boards: Not Just for Walleyes

By Bob Jensen Planer boards have been a part of many a walleye anglers’ arsenal for a long time.  Salmon and trout anglers also employ boards frequently.  Planer boards do so many good things when a trolling presentation is called for.  They enable an angler to get lines and baits out away from the boat, […]

Fall Proghorn Season is On in North Dakota

July 24, 2014 by  

Fall Proghorn Season is On in North Dakota

by Doug Leier I cross-reference many outdoor signature dates with kids and sports. For whatever reason, my mind keeps sports milestones less convoluted than birthdays and anniversaries. So believe me when I tell you, the last time North Dakota hunters were offered a chance to draw a pronghorn license, my beloved Minnesota Twins were still in the Metrodome, and they made the […]

Fish for Fish That Want to Eat

July 21, 2014 by  

Fish for Fish That Want to Eat

by Bob Jensen  When anglers go fishing, they want to catch a fish.  In fact, they want to catch lots of fish.  While you’re not always going to catch lots of fish, there are some things that anglers can do to increase their odds of getting bit.  Finding the biters is a big part of […]

2014 Sage Grouse Hunting Season Called Off

July 16, 2014 by  

2014 Sage Grouse Hunting Season Called Off

By Doug Leier North Dakota won’t have a sage grouse hunting season in 2014. That news probably doesn’t surprise anyone who pays attention to the state’s outdoor world. Sage grouse are North Dakota’s largest native upland game bird, found only in the extreme southwestern part of the state, primarily in Bowman and Slope counties. There […]

8 Tips for a Successful Launch and Load

July 9, 2014 by  

8 Tips for a Successful Launch and Load

By Doug Leier I’ve always found it interesting how some skills in life stay with us no matter how many years of rust we allow to accumulate. Things like riding a bike or driving a manual transmission vehicle, or perhaps water skiing, tying a hook on a line or filleting a fish, are once-used physical […]

Mid-Summer Largemouth Bass

July 7, 2014 by  

Mid-Summer Largemouth Bass

by Bob Jensen In the Midwest, the walleye is the favorite fish of many anglers, and for good reason.  They are abundant in many waters, they are susceptible to a wide variety of presentations, and they taste great on the table.  But as good as the walleye fishing can be in the Midwest, the largemouth […]

Why I`d Rather be Fishing

July 2, 2014 by  

Why I`d Rather be Fishing

by Doug Leier There’s a cross-section of people with whom I really connect this time of year – those folks who are participants in summer sports, and those folks who fish. While I am an avid sports fan, I don’t golf and haven’t played softball in nearly 20 years, but I connect with the people […]

Enjoy Your Fishing More This Summer

July 2, 2014 by  

Enjoy Your Fishing More This Summer

by Bob Jensen Lots of anglers refer to this time of year as the “Dog Days of Summer”.  The phrase “Dog Days” came from ancient Rome and had to do with the stars and the belief that Sirius, The Dog Star, caused summer to be a bad time of year.  Regardless of what they thought […]

How to Get Your Kids Hooked on Fishing

June 25, 2014 by  

How to Get Your Kids Hooked on Fishing

by Doug Leier Over the years I’ve detailed my successes and failures of getting my kids “hooked on fishing.” Call me a bit disconnected, but I don’t see how kids cannot enjoy fishing. And I’ve never heard my kids say they don’t want to go fishing. It’s actually the complete opposite, as no matter the […]

Summer Action Over and Around the Weeds

June 23, 2014 by  

Summer Action Over and Around the Weeds

by Bob Jensen As summer progresses, the various vegetation in the lakes becomes a big factor in our fishing.  The different types of vegetation that live in the lakes will be home to a variety of fish species.  Some weeds will be in the shallow water, others will be deeper.  Almost wherever you fish in […]

Slot Limit Regulations – What Purpose Do They Serve?

June 18, 2014 by  

Slot Limit Regulations – What Purpose Do They Serve?

by Doug Leier I’m no master angler, but I do understand how anglers will successfully use a technique, lure or presentation on one lake, and then try that same strategy on another body of water. In similar fashion, fisheries managers often hear from anglers who fish in other states who wonder why specific regulations are […]

Catching Pressured Walleyes

June 16, 2014 by  

Catching Pressured Walleyes

by Bob Jensen I was in central Minnesota last week fishing with my friend Mike Frisch.  Mike is an outstanding angler for a variety of fish, but on this trip we were after walleyes.  So were dozens and dozens of other anglers on the lake we were on.  Word was out that the walleyes on […]

My Four Favorite Lures for Summer Fun

June 12, 2014 by  

My Four Favorite Lures for Summer Fun

By Bill Dance I love to wade creeks and fish small ponds and lakes. Fishing knee deep and casting for bass brings back memories of when I was a kid, and it is still one of my very favorite ways to spend a summer day. Light “finesse” tackle is perfect for this kind of fishing. […]

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