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Remember that this weekend, June 6 trough the 8th is Take a Kid Fishing Weekend.  During this three-day period, Minnesotans age 16 or older do not need a fishing license while taking a child age 15 or younger fishing.

Muskie season opens Saturday, June 7th.  Exciting time for many anglers for sure.  Minnesota is on of the top places to go to get that trophy muskie.  People come here because they have the chance to catch a giant muskie.  Muskie anglers are more than happy to cast all day long and not catch a fish, but if they get the chance to see one of those fish follow their lure to the boat-that’s all they talk about for the next two weeks.

For these reasons, some circles of muskie anglers even refer to themselves as muskie hunters.  The chance to catch a trophy is what led the Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance to support a 54inch minimum size limit, which was adopted into this year’s game and fish bill, and will become effective with the 2015 muskie season.

What will be the result? The change likely will allow fish to grow larger, said Mike Habrat, DNR fisheries specialist in Detroit Lakes. Until the new size limit goes into effect, the statewide minimum size is 48 inches.  The length limit makes exceptions for muskie-northern pike hybrids, also called tiger muskie, in the seven county metro area, where the minimum size limit remains 40 inches on certain lakes.

Minnesota’s rise as a renowned muskie fishing destination is the result of research that identified how best to capture and rear a large-growing native strain of muskie, stocking this strain in appropriate waters, and managing the harvest.  The new size length regulation will help the state continue to be a destination for those seeking large muskie, Habrat said.  According to information compiled by Muskie, Inc.  Magazine and The Lunge Log, three of the nations top five muskie lakes [based on reports of 50-inch fish or larger] are located in Minnesota and 11 of the nation’s top 19 muskie lakes are located in Minnesota.  Lakes like Vermillion, Mille Lacs and Big Detroit are commonly recognized as among the best in the country for catching big muskie.

How many life jackets do I need in my boat, and am I required to wear one?

A readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is required for each person on all boats including canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.  A Type IV throwable device is also required on boats more than 16 feet.  Children under 10 years old must wear a life jacket while a boat is underway unless the child is in an enclosed cabin, aboard a passenger vessel operated by a licensed captain, or on a boat that is anchored for the purpose of swimming or diving.  The life jacket also must be the appropriate size for the wearer.  Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist.

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