Minnesota Fishing – June 2017 MN DNR Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is June 9-11 During Take a Kid Fishing Weekend Friday, June 9, to Sunday, June 11, Minnesota residents age 16 or older can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing. The DNR encourages adults to try fishing and introduce a new generation to the fun of fishing. Learning to fish can be as easy as rounding up some basic equipment and casting a line, and there is helpful information on the DNR’s website for learning about fishing. One place to start is the DNR’s Take a Kid Fishing Weekend page. Applications up for state record fish Interest has ramped up this spring in the DNR’s state record fish program, with applications for a variety of species including everything from shortnose gar, lake sturgeon, golden redhorse and the quillback carpsucker. There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish. So far the 2017 record count this year stands at four: a 5-pound 4-ounce shortnose gar caught by Cayden Hutmacher; two caught and released lake sturgeon that were 70 inches long caught by Tim Deiman and Mark Minnick; and a 4-pound 7-ounce golden redhorse caught by Mathew Williams. Find the records, and the submission guidelines in case you catch a potential record fish. Miss the boat on muskies? Some basics Fishing for muskellunge opened June 3 in Minnesota – a state well known as a muskie fishing destination. Ever wanted to learn more about muskies in Minnesota? Chris Kavanaugh, northeast region fisheries manager, discussed some muskie basics. 2017 I Can! programs begin I Can Fish! programs at Minnesota State Parks have begun. You and your kids can learn the fun of casting into the water and the excitement when there’s a tug on the line. Cost to attend is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. A vehicle permit ($5 value) is included with registration. No fishing license is required for Minnesota residents. Register online, or call 866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, except holidays). You can find more information about the I Can Fish! program on the DNR website, by emailing the DNR Information Center or calling 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday). The I Can! programs make it easy for families to enjoy fishing and other outdoor experiences. All fishing equipment – including pole, tackle and bait – is provided. Friendly instructors also provide plenty of tips and encouragement so that adults and kids can both have fun learning new skills. Check the DNR website for more information on I Can Fish! and other skill-building programs in the I Can! series. Women can get on the water and learn skills Women can learn how to get on the water and fish through several upcoming events. Check the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program page on the DNR website for an events schedule. Classes include instruction on kayaking, and fishing for walleye, sturgeon and trout. Twins offer free hat on Father’s Day in partnership with DNR On Father’s Day, anyone with a 2017 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo cap through a special ticket offer online. The next two games in this offer are: 1:10 p.m. Sunday, June 18, vs. Cleveland (Father’s Day). 1:10 p.m. Sunday, July 23, vs. Detroit. Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers. Saints offer free hat in partnership with DNR Anyone with a 2017 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free St. Paul Saints logo baseball cap though a special Saints ticket offer online, with the next offer for a 7:05 p.m. game on Tuesday, June 27, vs. Sioux City Explorers. Tickets are $17 and all ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Tips for releasing fish The most important thing to remember about how to release fish without injuring them is to be prepared. Here are some quick tips to successfully release fish: Have the necessary equipment readily available like needle-nose pliers, forceps, line clipper, a soft mesh or coated landing net – and a camera. Minimize the time the fish is out of the water. If possible, unhook the fish while it is in the water. If taking a picture, hold larger fish horizontally with the head and body supported. Do not hold large fish vertically or by the gills or eyes. Play and land the fish as quickly as possible and moisten your hands with water to protect the fish’s slime layer and prevent post-release infections. If the fish is deeply hooked, cut the line inside the fish’s mouth. If it is deeply hooked and bleeding, consider keeping the fish to eat as long as it is of legal size in the open angling season for that species.