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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 1
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 3
Hunting Early Season Turkey
FENCELINES & FIELD BIRDS.............................. 6 Turkey Hunting's
TOUGH CALLS.................................................................. 8 Accepting
SNOW GOOSE CHALLENGE.........................10
Open Water Fishing KISS Those Spring/Early Summer
SAKAKAWEA WALLEYES...............................12 Fishing Tip
SOFT LANDING PANFISH................................20 Where to Dine by the Water in the
LAND OF LAKES.......................................................22 Spring Monster Pike of
LAKE OF THE WOODS........................................32 Angling Destination: South Dakota
MISSOURI RIVER......................................................36 Chamberlain/Oacoma, SD - A Place Where
THE FISH ARE ALWAYS BITING................40
Special Destination Sections Explore Minnesota........................................ 22-31 Lake of the Woods, MN.............................. 32-35 Missouri River Chamberlain/Oacoma, SD......................36-49 Lake Oahe - Pierre, SD.................................50-51 Upper Oahe, SD...................................................52 Glacial lakes of SD........................................ 53-55
Cover Photo Credit: Matt Addington Photography
Minnesota: Dine by the Water in the Land of Lakes
Chamberlain/Oacoma, SD Opens
NWT WALLEYE TOUR...........................................44 Lake Erie’s Hot Spring Walleye Bite in the “Walleye Capital of The World”
HAULIN’ IN THE HAWGS.................................56
Mentoring Youth Raising Them Outdoors:
Editorial Avera Health
DON’T OVERLOOK YOUR LIVER..............62
CEO/PRESIDENT: K.A. Lesnar MANAGING EDITOR: Paul Nester OPERATIONS MANAGER: Hosea Bennett COMPOSITION MANAGER: Catherine Krause Composition: Dan Brauer, Jesse Bierman, Dawn Giedd, Dustin Scheideler
Marketing 605-274-2640 Paul Nester - Paul@midwesthuntfish.com Brian Bashore - Brian@midwesthuntfish.com
Contributors Jerry Carlson Captain Sam Downing Joe Henry Matt Liebel Joel Nelson
James Norton Geremy Olson • Avera • Explore Minnesota
• Natalie Muruato Chamberlain-Oacoma Area COC/CVB • Mike Smith SDGFP/SD Missouri River Tourism
The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and do not necessarily
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Note from the Editor
It has been another crazy winter for the ice anglers across the area. I am glad spring fishing is here. We have a great issue for you, Joel Nelson has some great articles on spring turkey hunting and tips on calling. Jerry Carlson is chasing snow geese and helps with outsmarting these birds. Matt Liebel takes us to Lake Sakakawea and helps you understand the spring and early summer walleyes. Explore Minnesota looks at where to take a break from fishing on the many lakes in Minnesota. The NWT Walleye Tour is coming to the Missouri River in South Dakota, April 30 - May 1st. We have some great information on the Chamberlain/ Oacoma area where the tournament will be based out of. If you are looking for hawgs, Captain Sam Downing has a great article on Lake Erie’s spring walleye bite.
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Early season turkey hunts usually require fooling more than just the big strutter of the group. Toms are usually glued to their hens this time of year, and those jennies are quite the asset to any longbeard’s hope for a long-life. The first line of defense is always their eyesight, which is sharp enough for a single bird. Take a dozen or more of them in a group, each acting as a sentinel that’s peering with laser focus at anything, and I do mean anything, that looks out of place. Add to that the fact that most hens who are attached to their men, don’t like another upstart female offering sultry squawks to their boyfriends, and you’ve got a challenging situation. This challenge is multiplied in a field situation, where we so often hope to sit during the initial parts of any turkey hunting day afield. That legendary eyesight is twice as sharp in the wide open or at a distance, especially when bright sunny mornings offer few shadows in which to hide. This makes it rather impossible to move on birds that may spend hours in front of you, but woefully out of range. It’s also why you should choose wisely as to where you make your first stand on any field hunting opportunity. Most times, that location revolves around a fence—a simple barrier that turkeys will cross at will, at least until you need them to. Growing up in Southeastern Minnesota, most of my hunting experiences consisted of crossing several fencelines per day, just like the turkeys, as you went from woodlots, to pastures, to crop fields. Over time, and through scouting, you came to find places in the fence where it was a helluva lot easier to cross, while torn pants and bruised egos offered proof to the spots where it was difficult. Again, just like the turkeys, I crossed where it was easiest. It’s amazing to me now, that after a few decades in the woods, how so many generations of turkeys have over the years crossed a fence at the exact same location. However, it should come as no surprise as these are logical pinch-points that focus turkey movements across the landscape. In some of the plains states I’ve hunted, fences can be even more important, as a hunt years ago in Kansas taught me. It took us a few days to catch on to the gig, but those birds offered us two chances to tag out—after fly-down and leaving the general roost area, and once again that same evening as they headed back to it. The remainder of their day was spent in wheat fields larger than you could see across. Birds worked in massive groups that utilized one of two different fenceline crossings, and though we observed the location twice daily, it’s amazing how similar one fence post looks like the other. We found out the hard way that close wasn’t close enough, and we couldn’t call even the satellite toms away from that clan. You had to be within gun range of the exact crossing, which sounds easy until you’re trying to figure this out from binoculars on a 1,000-acre wheat field where everything looks the same.
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That story holds true throughout the Midwest, and everywhere else for that matter, as the number one rule of field hunting is to be right on the birds as they spill out onto the open ground. “Fence-postaccuracy” is what you need when selecting a spot, and your scouting needs to be precise. 40-50 yards off is too far in big groups, as you need a clear shot of a tom among many hens, and so often I’ve been close but not close enough as hens shield their toms and they work into the fields further and further away from you. Precision counts here in a very big way. In the past, I’ve even flagged a crossing with nearby brush, a broken limb, or really anything to give you the visual clues you need to be in the right place at the right time come opening morning. Rule number two is to never make them cross a fenceline if at all possible, which is probably better known from a general turkey hunting sense. Growing up on the family dairy farm taught me that lesson well, with a dad that strung a full 4-strands of barbed wire on every T-post he ever met, usually tight enough to make you afraid the whole thing was going to blow up and send shrapnel flying. Yes, I’ve hung many a bird on the other side of a fence, but even the most formidable fencelines have a weak spot somewhere. Trail cameras make scouting easier these days, but even before them it was pretty easy to see turkey tracks on the leafless areas where birds would scoot under those fences.
If crossing one fence is bad, two or more is surely worse, but I hunt in a few areas where intersections of fencelines meet, creating an “X” that forces you to choose one of four quadrants from which to expect turkeys. Of course, you can hunt near the intersection of all of them, but usually birds end up coming from the direction you least expect it. At least you’re close to them in this scenario, but even in these kinds of doomsday crossings, birds will often have a method to their madness. Nothing beats scouting for these tougher-than-normal crossings. As callers, so often we fail at getting birds to cross these areas because they’ve been attracted on a semi-straight line to a barrier at a location they’re not used to crossing. That’s why if I can visually see them and they’re heading even remotely towards my location, I won’t call to them until after they’ve crossed. Let them negotiate a fence on their own time, and they’ll head through a spot they know and like to cross. Excite them with a call, and even if they want to get to you, they somehow lose their ability to cross where they normally do, and you’ll more often hang them up. I’d rather re-position on him and call to a place he wants to be, than force him to travel through a wall he doesn’t want to move through. Of course, there’s birds that will defy the rules, like a Wisconsin gobbler that fell last spring after crossing two different fences, ready to cross another before we toppled him at 25 steps. I’ve also had birds fly over fences, hop through the middle of them, and scoot underneath as if the obstacle wasn’t even there. Each tom is different, and desperate birds will do crazy things.
Early season isn’t one of those times however, as options for hens abound. Spend some time glassing those fields before you hunt, remembering that if you’re there too late, they’ll already be in the field and you’ll have missed where they cross. Chances are that even if they’re working a particular zone in the field, they may not be later, especially if the hens lead toms away from your calling or decoys. Be where they want to cross, and you may just be punching a tag before the sun tops the trees.
Photo credits Matt Addington Photography
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 7
In the course of even a single season, turkeys will challenge your skills and make the most confident hunter into a wuthering pile of loathing and self-doubt. Each day presents new scenarios, culminating into a number of “tipping-points” that we inevitably look back on with the clarity of 20-20 hindsight. Here’s a number of those very situations, along with some advice on how I’ve learned to best handle them throughout the years. To Call or Not to Call? You’ve just made a string of yelps and everything in the woods is white hot with excitement. It’s one of those rare days where you can simply do no wrong, and they’re picking up every call you’re putting down. Then the other boot drops, and silence abounds for 10 minutes or more. Do you call again? If no, then how long to wait? Well my experience has been that sudden pauses in calling are either really good, or really bad. Birds have heard what they needed and are on a straight-line march to your location, soon to appear at any time. Or, they’ve been spooked by another hunter or coyote, they’ve flown down and left the audible area with hens, or any other act of tomfoolery. Birds that are still gobbling occasionally give you clues and cues to go off, and there are no general facts for when and when not to call. That said, the closest thing to any hard or fast rule that I have is not to call to any bird that is closing the distance to your location. If he’s coming, don’t call and screw it up! Should I Stay or Should I Go? So often we’re presented with the choice to give chase to birds that are leaving the vicinity, or hold off and wait. To answer that question, I’ll first think to what other options I have should I pursue and spook. If you only have 40 acres of access for the season, it’s best not to get too aggressive. I’ll also think to what other birds I heard in the roost, doing my best to identify how many potential toms heard my calling. I try my best to wait out any play for 30 minutes after last call if I really got aggressive, especially if birds are responding from out deep. There’s a few exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, I’ll get to the point of almost standing up, then give it another 5 minutes.
Edge of Range Just writing it makes my skin crawl. I can’t begin to tell you the number of birds that have skirted the edge of my weapon’s effective range over the years. I can very precisely tell you the handful of times I’ve been tempted to push the limits, and let’s just say that it works only occasionally. You can’t tempt the limit till you define one, so your early season patterning is more than just a fun time at the range, it’s crucial to drawing that line in the sand. If I can’t put 100 pellets consistently into a 10” circle, then that range draws a distinct line for me to shoot within. If that distance is 50 yards, 51 yards is flirting with disaster accounting for wind, brush, sore arms, and any number of variables that don’t play out in the field like they do on a lead-sled. These birds deserve more than “occasionally” so I use a rangefinder where legal, and able, to demarcate a zone that I simply won’t shoot past. When to Shoot? The bird has finally crossed into the death zone, and you’re just waiting patiently for the best possible, can’t mess it up, shot to present itself. Don’t wait too long, or really at all. My best advice has always been to take your first, best shot as soon as the bird is in range. Of course, a bird in the wide open with his head down slowly walking your way poses little threat of escape. Add cover, other birds, partial views, and a tom that’s already nervous, and you’ll find how remarkably possible it is for a tom to sashay into range and out of it before you ever get to pull the trigger. That’s why I’ve killed so many birds between 35-45 yards. It’s not because I like pushing the limits of my equipment, but it’s because far too many toms have wandered into “sure thing” setups, only to find a wide tree, hen, or blocking fenceline to walk straight away and in line from, thus preventing any shot. Fall back on your patterning, and take the very first, bestlooking shot you’ve got while the bird is in range.
Photo: Matt Addington Photography
Page 8 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 8
Brush Birds Take your best shot even if it involves a few twigs. With a caveat. Know that I’d never promote someone taking an unsafe shot (not being sure of target or what’s behind it) or a shot that would potentially maim a turkey (too much brush), but a swarm of pellets especially well inside of your effective range does wonders for peeling back a few sprigs of spring. On the other hand, if you’re looking at a bird in the brush for which you cannot identify the beard or exact location of his head/neck area, then it’s far too thick to try. My rule of thumb is to clearly identify the outline of the head and neck area and make sure you can see beard, then squeeze off a quality shot. If you’re shooting at the outline of a turkey itself or at the edge of your effective range, you don’t have a prayer.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 9
Of all the waterfowl hunting I do, there is little question that nothing is as challenging to hunt as snow geese. There are plenty of reasons for this fact. First of all, snow geese get hunted for at least seven months out of the year. The pressure starts in Canada as they are making their way south and end in Canada as they complete the last leg to their summer breeding grounds near Hudson Bay. The next major issue is related to the first. Snow geese live a long time and have an incredible memory for not forgetting the bad things that happen to them along the way. They have learned all about decoy spreads, electronic calls, layout blinds and the hunters associated with these items. Spreads can be staged so they are appealing to both Canada and snow geese.
Page 10 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 10
Another part of the frustration comes from their eyes. These birds are viewing decoy spreads through binocular vision. They literally see all evil and avoid anything that looks suspicious. They also travel in extremely large flocks. What one bird doesnâ€™t see; another one does. The spooked birds signal the alarm to the others and just like that, they are all gone. Time and again, snow geese appear to be setting up to make a run at the decoys only to pull the plug at 100 yards and continue on their way. One last issue to contend with is their spring migration pattern. I have noticed that over the last ten years, snow geese have changed their habits during the spring conservation order. The area in Missouri we hunt used to have a three-week period where the geese would stage and feed. In the last years, this staging period may last a week. One farmer in South Dakota that gave us permission to hunt the spring migration talked about this issue. He stated that when the geese come, they are everywhere for about two days and then gone.
This makes the timing of a hunt very tricky. In order to be successful, you must have large numbers of birds in the area with consistent activity. If your timing is off, so is the harvest. In order to combat the difficulties in hunting snow geese, we have tried to tweak and change the way we approach our winter and spring hunts. One way is to hunt before the conservation order begins. By traveling south, it is possible to get in on the last days of the regular goose season in many states. This option gives us a chance to hunt Canada geese as well as snow geese. Electronic calls and unplugged shotguns arenâ€™t allowed, but it is nice to expand your options to include Canadas. We pay a great deal of attention to concealment. For us, layout blinds are a thing of the past. We have had much more success by wearing ghillie suits or whites. There is something about the shape of layout blinds that geese seem to notice. Some believe it is the rectangular profile while others say it is the shadows or elevation. At any rate, we have had more success since we stopped using them. Snow geese love movement in the decoys and we try to provide that. Canada geese do not. If you are hunting both species at the same time, it is necessary to have remotes for turning off the movement. Hunting is always a challenge. That is why it is called hunting and not shooting. Because of this, hunters must continually be thinking about what they are doing and adjusting their strategies. This adaptation and tweaking process may need to be done on a daily basis. If something isnâ€™t working, change it and see what happens. Geese, especially snow geese, can be difficult to hunt. However, that has never stopped me from targeting these birds as I enjoy dealing with the challenge.
By wearing whites,
hunters can easily hide in
a sea of decoys.
Photo credit: Jerry Carlson
Many southern states have late seasons that allow for the harvest of both snow geese and Canadas.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 11 11
Lake Sakakawea is the 3rd largest reservoir in the US, and with more shoreline than the coast of California, it can seem daunting for someone coming here for the first time. It doesn’t have to be scary; with the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) approach you can be fishing your way to limits quickly. Al and Ron Linder pioneered the formula F+L+P=Success. If you put that to work on Sakakawea you are bound to catch fish. Don’t worry it’s a SIMPLE formula; that doesn’t require the use of a calculator. F stands for…you guessed it, fish! L stands for location, and P stands for presentations. If you add those 3 together you will have success, it's that simple! I can already hear some of you saying (in a sarcastic tone) oh yeah just simple…. C’mon, give us the goods! Ok, Ok, let's break down this huge lake and make it simple. Sakakawea Walleyes The first thing to look at when applying the FLP formula is you have to fish where there are fish. Lake Sakakawea has fish... Lots of fish. North Dakota Game and Fish Department surveys indicate near-record high walleye populations with a good number of year classes present. There are plenty of good eater size fish to take home and also a good number of larger, CPR (Catch, Photo, & RELEASE) fish. We recommend to all our clients that all fish over 23” are released to fight another day. One note on those eater fish, North Dakota Game and Fish is in the process of revising their fishing regulations and there was talk of new fish transportation regulations. Please read those carefully when the new regulations are released on April 1st. The possession limit for walleyes is 10 per person so please be courteous and take only what you are allowed and will use. Another note on regulations is there will be new ANS (Aquatic Nuisance Species) requirements for all boats. There is a new $15 ANS sticker that all boats must have. For boats registered
Page 12 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 12
in North Dakota that fee is charged when you renew your registration in 2020. For boats registered out of state a yearly $15, ANS sticker must be displayed when on ND waters. Now that we know the fish are present, let's talk a little bit about walleyes because understanding the fish you are after is another important part of the formula. Walleyes are walleyes, wherever they are found in North America. They follow similar patterns everywhere. F is probably the simplest part of this equation on Sakakawea; next, we will look into the L. Sakakawea Locations Sakakawea has all sorts of structure but we can really narrow it down to 3 specific structures. Main lake points, flats, and large bays are the 3 predominant areas to target on your adventure. Using your electronics will be a big help, rarely do you catch fish in an area where you don’t mark fish. You pay good money for those graphs, learn their capabilities and trust them! Reservoir fish have a tendency of being here today and gone tomorrow so watch those graphs and move on if you don’t mark fish.
Beginning in late fall and throughout the winter many fish start migrating up the 2 main rivers coming into Lake Sakakawea. The Missouri and Little Missouri rivers are the largest rivers coming in and those areas are great areas to start your search in the spring as they usually warm up the fastest. While river fishing might sound scary, you don’t actually need to go into the true river, you are still in what we would call the reservoir. These reservoir parts hold plenty of fish, the true river is often dirty from runoff anyways. In the early spring and into early June water temperature is the main factor I use when determining location. Generally, I’m looking for the warmest water. The Little Missouri Arm is a large area with flats way up the river, then as you work out it has more rocky points along with a few bays that will hold fish. The Little Missouri is smaller than the Missouri, especially when it gets to the true river so it often holds less fish than the larger Missouri although there are still really good numbers. In 2017 when the NWT was on Sakakawea; many of the anglers fished the Little Missouri Arm. This area has many bends that protect it from winds. This area has 3 access points at Little Missouri Bay, Mackenzie Bay, and Charging Eagle Bay. The Missouri flows into Lake Sakakawea up by Williston, this is the area where the 2017 NWT tournament was won. This area has a few more access points, which is very helpful because it is less protected on the main lake, any east or west wind of 15 mph will create some pretty large swells. The north side of the lake, east of Williston has 4 different access points (Lewis and Clark State Park, Lund’s Landing, Little Beaver Bay & White Earth Bay), the south shore has 1 access area at Tobacco Gardens. As the water temps continue to rise the fish spread out and can be found throughout the system. By early to mid-June the bite is usually good throughout the reservoir. The New Town area provides many access points that can be fished in a variety of wind conditions. The east end around Garrison has been holding more smelt lately so that area holds some of the chunkiest walleyes you will ever see.
Once you have determined where you will launch then the map work begins. Like I had mentioned before 3 main areas should be your target, the flats, main lake points, and back bays. Early in the spring look for sand/gravel areas, as those are the areas that walleyes use to spawn. Early season and even into midsummer there are catchable walleyes shallow. We rarely fish deeper than 15 ft. before July. Simple Presentations 3 basic presentations produce walleyes on a regular basis. Pitching, Cranking, and Bottom bouncing are the staples here. You don’t need to try all sorts of crazy new techniques to fill your livewell and put those tasty fillets on the table. Pitching jigs or crankbaits on main lake points or in the back bays can be one of the most fun bites of the year. The “tick” of the walleye inhaling that jig or the rod stopping strike on a crankbait is exhilarating. A 1/4 oz. jig pitched up shallow and worked back to the boat with a slow lift/drop retrieve works wonders. Most days you don’t need to go any lighter than a 1/4 oz. but on windy days you may want to give the 3/8 oz.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 13 13
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 15
a look. The key is to make sure to maintain bottom contact. The heavier jigs also help you work down the steeper breaks better, where a light jig will glide all the way down and out with the bait out of the strike zone. I prefer to use Berkley Nanofil in 10 lb. test since it casts so well. Be sure to inspect the line often as it can fray faster than FireLine. A jig tipped with a minnow or crawler is tough to beat but I’ve given up live bait on pitched jigs unless we are in major cold front conditions. The new Salmo soft plastics are a great place to start. The walleye shad is a classic paddle tail swimbait in 3” and 4” versions available in great Sakakawea colors. As for crankbaits, a #5 Salmo hornet is hard to beat. When fishing the large flats on Sakakawea get those crankbaits out and cover some water! I prefer to run 2 long rods with 10 lb. Berkley fireline and then 2 shorty rods with lead core. Even though we are fishing shallow the lead core allows you to stagger your line out and those inside lures track the boat better and help reduce tangles. Properly tuned crankbaits also really help eliminate those tangles as well. Salmo crankbaits are all hand-tuned and tank-tested, the Salmo Perch 8 was a great lure for me last summer, and as always the hornet has been voted the best walleye crankbait. These reservoir walleyes don’t mind the speed, if water temps are above 63º I’m starting at 2.5 mph, if below I’m starting at 2.0 mph and adjusting from there.
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Page 16 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 17
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The last technique is a reservoir standby, a bottom bouncer trolled with some variation of a spinner (I prefer a Mack’s Smile blade), lindy rig, or slow death rig will produce. This can be used in almost all locations. A great way to cover water on the flats if trolling crankbaits is not your thing, but can also effectively be trolled along the contours of those main lake points and back bays. One mistake I often see people make is using too light of bottom bouncers. A 1 oz. bottom bouncer is generally the lightest I run, as we get deeper I add more weight. If you let that bottom bouncer drag with too much line out you defeat the purpose of the bottom bouncer. The wire on the bottom is meant to go through the snags, but if the entire bouncer is dragging it will snag up just like any other sinker. Start each day with a variation of rigs and baits then let the fish tell you what they want. Minnows, leeches, and crawlers all have their days. My starting speed is 1.0 mph and if they bite that I increase the speed until I see a decrease in bites, then dial in the speed. With so much water to cover I want to put the baits in front of as many fish as possible. While Lake Sakakawea can seem very daunting it is very angler friendly in the fact there are lots of fish that like to eat! We offer fully guided fishing trips beginning in the spring shortly after ice-out (usually mid-April). Every year we take out clients for a day or two to show them the ropes and then they continue on their own. We can accommodate almost any size group large or small. Our main busy season is June through August. Give Liebel’s guide service a call at 701-770-6746 to schedule your fishing adventure today, let us help you reduce the learning curve on the giant and beautiful body of water! It’s fishing, not rocket science, KISS it and KISS those tasty walleyes!
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Soft Landing Panfish It no secret where the crappies and gills are located during early Spring, so I’m not even going to waste my time writing about it—you can find 100 duplicate articles on that! However, once the fish are located, many anglers utilize a float/jig/minnow/ plastic combo while casting to these spooky fish. So here’s the tip—small light weight bobbers gently lobbed further past the actual fish. Right before the bobber hits the water, apply the brakes by grabbing the line with your fingers causing the bobber to slow the decent so the splash isn’t a splash but the softest landing you can produce (this takes practice). Never dive bomb a huge splash—the fish will spook and disappear. Once the bobber is on the water, let the ripples dissolve and then begin to slowly drag the float/bait to the fish and wait for the bite. Lotsa Fish! Lotsa Fun! Captain Josh Hagemeister Minnesota Fishing Guide Service 320-291-0708 • 218-732-9919 www.minnesotaguideservice.com www.minnesotaicefishhouserental.com
Page 20 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 21
Minnesota's "Land of 10,000 Lakes" slogan isn't mere hype—from unnamed country ponds to the sea-like majesty of Lake Superior, the state has aquatic splendor to spare. It's no surprise, then, that there's plenty of good food to be eaten by the shores of the state's rivers, lakes and waterfalls. From old-fashioned supper clubs to up-to-date casual seafood eateries, where there's open water, there's often a great meal (and usually a good local brew or cocktail, to boot). Angry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais One the state's best-regarded farm-to-table (and lake-totable) dining spots is the humble but ambitious Angry Trout Cafe in Grand Marais, where dishes like Lake Superior whitefish and grilled bison tenderloin share the menu with accessible fare such as fish and chips and maple-grilled chicken breast. The restaurant's relationship with the next door Dockside Fish Market means that much of its seafood is literally straight-offthe-dock fresh. Maynards, Excelsior On the shore of Lake Minnetonka, this lakeside establishment has been serving hungry and thirsty patrons since 1998. The large lakeside patio can seat up to 500 guests and features a roaring stone fireplace for cooler nights. Dine on the Mr. Jimmy burger named after Excelsior's former ambassador, Jimmy Hutmaker, or spice it up with the firecracker shrimp tacos. Snack on walleye fingers, Szechwan spicy green beans or waffle fries. Cool off with a refreshing mojito, Moscow Mule or sip a brew from the hometown brewery, Excelsior Brewing Co.
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2 5:person teams | Entry $150/Walleye boat - Tournament Limited to Fri., June Catch I Photo I Release Fri., June 5: Catch II Photo Photo II Release Release Walleye Walleye Tournament Tournament Fri., June 5: Catch Fri., June 5:at Sinclair Lewis Park Bandshell Fri., June 5:at Sinclair Lewis Park Bandshell
Fri.,June June6:5: at Sinclair Lewis Park Bandshell Sat., at Sinclair Lewis Park Bandshell Sat., June 6: Sat., June 6: Fishing, am 3 pm at Sinclair Lewisto Bandshell Fishing, 7 77am 3Park Sat., June 6: at Sinclair Lewis Bandshell Fishing, amtotoPark 3pm pm Awards Ceremony, 3:30 pm Sat., June 6: Awards Ceremony, pm Fishing, 7 am to 33:30 pm Awards Ceremony, 3:30 pm Sat., June 6:atatSinclair SinclairLewis Lewis Park Bandshell Fishing, 7 am to Bandshell 3 pm Park Awards Ceremony, 3:30 pm at Sinclair7Lewis Fishing, am Park to 3 Bandshell pm Awards 3:30 pm at SinclairCeremony, Lewis Park Bandshell Awards Ceremony, 3:30 pm at Sinclair Lewis Park Bandshell
Payout based on 50boats: boats: at Sinclair Park Bandshell Payout on 5050 Payoutbased based onLewis boats:
Payout based onSCHEELS 50 boats: •• 1st $1,100 cash $200 gift cards 1st• 1st --Payout $1,100 cash ++2-+2-2-$200 SCHEELS cards based 50giftboats: - $1,100 cash $200on SCHEELS gift cards • 1st - $1,100 cash 2-$100 $200 SCHEELS gift based on 50 gift boats: • 2nd $700 cash +2-+2-+2-$100 SCHEELS gift cards $700 cash + SCHEELS cards •Payout 2nd $700 cash $100 SCHEELS cards • 2nd 1st --$1,100 cash ++ 22- $100 $200 SCHEELS SCHEELSgift gift cards • $700 cash gift cards • 3rd• •1st $500 cash + 2-$75 $75 SCHEELS gift cards -2nd $500 cash SCHEELS gift cards 3rd $500 cash $75 SCHEELS gift cards - $1,100 cash 2-2$200 SCHEELS gift cards $700 cash+ 2-++++2$100 SCHEELS gift cards --$500 cash 2-$50 $75SCHEELS SCHEELS gift cards • 4th• ••2nd $350 cash gift cards -3rd $350 cash $50 SCHEELS gift cards ----$350 SCHEELS gift cards $700 cash $100 SCHEELS gift cards 3rd $500 cash++2-++22-$50 $75 SCHEELS gift cards •4th 4th $350cash cash ++2-2-2$50 SCHEELS gift cards • 5th• ••3rd $200 cash + 2-$25 SCHEELS gift cards -5th $200 cash SCHEELS gift cards 5th $200 cash $25 SCHEELS gift cards - --$500 2-2$75 SCHEELS gift cards 4th $350 cash 2-$25 $50 SCHEELS gift cards $200 cash+ 2-++++2$25 SCHEELS gift cards • cash thru $100 cash 6th thru - $100 cash • •4th +10th 2-10th ••6th thru 10th $100 cash 5th- -$350 $200 cash +10th 2--$50 $25 SCHEELS giftcards cards •6th 6th thru -SCHEELS $100 cashgift 2$10 SCHEELS cards ++2-+2-cash $10 SCHEELS gift cards $10 SCHEELS gift cards • 5th - $200 + 2$25 SCHEELS gift cards •+6th thruSCHEELS 10th - $100 cash 2- $10 gift cards • +6th2-thru 10th - $100 $10 SCHEELS giftcash cards
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 23 23
Boat House, Winona Light, approachable New American fare (everything from tacos to panko-crusted catfish) make dining at the Mississippi River-overlooking Boat House a relaxing breeze—and don't miss brunch, either. Canal Park Brewing, Duluth This popular brewpub is primely positioned on the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth's popular Canal Park. The large patio is a hot spot for thirsty and hungry travelers, so get there early to nab a table. For a small bite, try the charcuterie plate with an array of meat and cheese selected by the chef and accompanied by a tasty IPA mustard, tempura fried caulilni (baby cauliflower) with soy ginger sauce, or the rotating flavors of the hummus plate. If you're looking for something a little heartier, try the Canal Park Club with housemade cranberry chutney, Lake Superior fish sandwich, or the Stoned Surf fish and chips battered with the brewery's IPA. Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge, Spring Park Less a restaurant than a full-fledged, full-bore lakeside party, this sprawling multi-venue Lake Minnetonka-adjacent supper club and sports bar booms in the warmer months. Lord Fletcher's more than 100 boat slips mean that it's equally accessible by land or by water, making the eatery's steaks, walleye sandwiches and lobster rolls accessible to all.
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Page 24 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 24
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Birch's on the Lake, Long Lake This spot is the unique combination of a supper club and brewhouse. Upstairs you will find supper club favorites like chops, steaks, fish and more with a large bar, cozy fireplace and picturesque views of Long Lake. Head downstairs for a lively brewhouse with community tables and a equally delicious menu of burgers, salads, barbecue and small plates. The large deck provides the best view of the water with charming cafe lights and a roaring campfire. If you like craft beer, peruse the ever-changing list of brews including the popular coffee chocolate golden ale or a rotating shandy. Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis The waterside dining spot of Minneapolis par excellence, Sea Salt, which sits a few hundred feet from the famous falls at Minnehaha Park, boasts serious shrimp and oyster po'boys, excellent Asian-inspired curry dishes, local brews, live music and first-rate ice cream via Sebastian Joe's. If the day is a particularly fine one and you arrive during prime time, you may be greeted by a line that emerges from the building and wraps around it. Grab a beer and get in line—it moves quickly, and the food is worth the wait.
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FISHING, HUNTING, AND VACATION TRADITIONS BEGIN HERE... • Fantastic fishing for lunker bass, muskie, northern pike, crappie, walleye, and panfish! • Hundreds of beautiful, clear lakes and vast shorelines. • Hunting opportunities include deer, grouse, bear, duck and more. • Located in the rolling hills, hardwood forests and majestic pines of the Chippewa National Forest. • Huge tracts of public land. • Canoeing, boating, kayaking, birding, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, Scenic Byway, and OHV riding. • A variety of local restaurants and shops.
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Page 26 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 26
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 27
Spanky's Stone Hearth, Frazee From the moment you walk into Spanky's Stone Hearth, you'll get cozy "up north" vibes thanks to the large stone fireplace and woodwork. Take advantage of the warm weather on the deck with views of Rose Lake, or request a table by the window inside. Signature #OnlyinMN dishes include the State Fair meatballs, pork chops from nearby Battle Lake and pan-fried walleye. The dishes are complemented with fresh produce and herbs from the restaurant's large garden. Adventurous diners can order the "Trust Me" special, where the chefs surprise you with a meal. Past specials have included swordfish, salmon, halibut and short ribs.
Zorbaz, Multiple Locations Zorbaz on the Lake has taken its pizzaz, nachoz, wingz and burritoz formula for success to 11 locations, including Detroit Lakez, Big Zandy, Park Rapidz, Green Lake in Zpicer and Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapidz (all Z's courtesy of Zorbaz in-house style guide). An extensive craft beer list, live music, late-night menus, and an allpurpose wacky sense of fun make this a Mexican-pizza chain with heart and soul— plus plum waterside real estate. A handful of locationz offer free docks for hungry folks on the lake.
Lake Osakis Resorts • Camping • Fishing • Trails Antiques • Restaurants • Golﬁng
Page 28 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 28
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 29
FIND YOUR TRUE NORTH Your True North isn't on a map. There's no simple way to find it, no compass to lead the way. Because your True North isn't a place, it's a feeling. A state of mind filled with adventure, culture and curiosity. It's the spark of adventure you feel at the end of the road, when the asphalt ends but you keep going. It's the unexpected joys of an unscripted journey. It's leaving behind all the familiar landmarks to head into the unknown and discover something truly awe-inspiring: Yourself. Minnesota invites you to discover something new in the world and in yourself. Somewhere that still feels wild and pure, where your story can flow like the Mississippi River and shine like the northern lights. No matter which route you take, they can all lead to your True North. And it's only in Minnesota.
Page 30 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 30
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 31
When you hear the statement, “I don’t get no respect”, you might think about the late comic, Rodney Dangerfield. When that phrase is used regarding spring fishing Lake of the Woods, it pertains to the northern pike. In April, when most of MN has a closed season for game fish, this area, which is border water with Canada, enjoys extended seasons. While fishing MN waters, there are three opportunities for spring fishing on Lake of the Woods. 1. Walleyes on the Rainy River through April 14th 2. Lake Sturgeon which is open for catch and release or keep season through May 15th 3. Northern Pike which the season never closes
Walleyes receive most of the attention as there is a tradition for many getting out on the Rainy River just as the ice departs. Big populations of walleyes make their way from Lake of the Woods up river to their spawning grounds in the Rainy River. If you hit it right, 100 fish days and multiple fish of a lifetime are possible. Second on the popularity list is the lake sturgeon. The Rainy River has a strong population of these prehistoric fish and many of them are big. When I say big, I mean up to 80, 90, 100 lb. big. These fish are starting to be targeted more and more as numbers are up and for many, this might be the largest fish they catch in their lifetime. Finally, the fish that gets the least respect, the northern pike. The one month LOW pike get some attention is March. Some pike anglers know this is the time the pike have the feed bags on and get congregated in front of spawning areas. They are targeted with tip ups and big sucker minnows or dead baits through the ice and many huge fish are caught this way. What gets overlooked is the next step in the pike’s journey. Once the pike travel to their spawning grounds and do their business of spawning, which is in mucky areas, shallow creeks, backwaters, sloughs and bays, they slide out to the adjacent shallow water and begin to recuperate and eventually feed again. This is a great time to target these fish.
The pike season on the Minnesota side of LOW is open all year long. Spring is a great time to get the boat out and take advantage of a big fish opportunity. Page 32 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 32
A MN DNR study in the 1990's showed lakes in MN that had big pike also had tullibees (ciscoes). MN DNR Fisheries staff say that when they get a big pike in their annual test netting, there is a high probability it has a tullibee in it's stomach. In addition to tullibees, a large number of walleyes, saugers, perch, a variety of minnows and invertebrates help support multiple year classes of pike.
Areas to consider for big spring pike Tributaries and back waters of the Rainy River. There are a number of big pike caught each year on the Rainy River and the spawning season certainly congregates these big fish in areas that fit the spawning preference of the pike. Look for shallow water that warms up quickly with a soft bottom. 4 Mile Bay & Bostic Creek This is a big area behind Pine Island on the south shore that extends for miles with depths for the most part under seven feet with scattered reed patches that make these areas good. The Bostic Creek which flows into LOW through the Morris Point Gap has some nice backwater with a mud bottom. Naturally, these areas are also popular areas for March pike fishing through the ice and don’t see many anglers once the ice disappears, yet are abundant with pike. Zippel Bay This area is the size of an inland lake with shallow water and a variety of aquatic vegetation. Big pike come into the bay when there is still ice. When the water begins to warm and flow, the pike head into the streams and backwaters leading into the bay to spawn. Some pike will also spawn on the edges of the bay. According to Nick Painovich, owner of Zippel Bay Resort since 1977, you can actually hear when the pike are spawning. “When the time is right, you can actually hear them in the cattails splashing around,” says Painovich. “In the old days when there was less draining of the fields, the ditches would fill up with that warm spring water and the pike would actually head up the current of the ditches. You could drive down the road and see pike swimming. The ditches would be full of them. Now, they stay in the creeks, backwaters and in the bay. There is still a pile of pike out there and depending upon the year, we catch them into May.”
There are certainly other areas of the lake with pike, but when the conversation is about April and early May, backwaters off of the main lake warm up quicker, will be ice free quicker and attract the spawning pike in good numbers. “Go To” baits for early pike Live bait & dead bait “After those pike spawn, they are lethargic,” explains Painovich. “A dead bait seems to be the most effective. A midsized smelt is the best. Ciscoes are good but often times they are larger in size and anglers get pickups, but a lot of missed hook sets. Live sucker minnows can be good but you need to clip the tails so they can’t swim to the side so easily,” explains Painovich. Anglers used to stop at fish markets to pick up frozen bait for big pike. In today’s world, there are regulations in place to stop the spread of VHS which doesn’t go away from simply freezing bait. Hence, all bait has to have a label stating it was harvested from waters free of VHS or properly treated. Bait shops are your safest bets and carry big pike bait with proper labeling. Anglers use a variety of rigs for their bait. Some use a quick strike rig like they do for ice fishing. This is a leader material that Y’s off with two treble hooks. One treble is hooked just behind the head of the bait and the other just in front of the tail. The key here is to make sure the bait hangs horizontally. Pike like to hit it from the side. Another “go to” rig is a treble hook with a spinner blade on a leader. The leader can be heavy fluorocarbon or regular wire leader material. This time of year, the water can have a tendency to be a bit clearer thus some anglers prefer the fluorocarbon leader. Because of MN laws, when using a treble hook, you must use a spinner along with it as it is illegal to use a plain treble hook without. Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 33
These baits are typically fished under a bobber. When the bottom is very soft or full of vegetation, fish the bait a couple of feet off of the bottom. In some cases where there are narrow down areas and a bit of current or a harder sandy bottom, the dead bait can be laid right on the bottom. The pike like to pick it up right off of the bottom. When your bait is on the bottom or you are in very shallow water when the bait is picked up, often times your bobber will not actually go underwater, but will start moving across the top of the water. If you are using a quick strike rig, you can set the hook immediately. If you are using a treble hook with a spinner or a single hook, some believe the pike pick up the bait, swim with it a bit, stop and turn the bait and move along. The idea is to make sure the pike has the hook in its mouth when setting the hook and not just a mouthful of bait. Each day is different and it doesn’t take many misses to try something different and figure it out. Lures As the water warms after the spawn, the smaller pike will be the first to be aggressive towards lures such as spoons, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Eventually, the “big girls” will play along as well. Work a good looking shoreline with an electric trolling motor casting your favorite lure or in certain areas cover some water by trolling. Action this time of year can be hot and heavy. MN DNR info from a recent fisheries lake survey verifies the presence of a healthy trophy pike fishery. Lake of the Woods is managed for a high-quality northern pike population, with a significant component of "trophy" northern pike over 40” long. On Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River, you can keep three pike per day. All pike 30-40” must be released immediately, with one fish over 40” allowed in possession. This means you can keep the smaller variety for the fry pan. With a trophy pike over 40”, if you aren’t putting it on the wall, please take good care of the fish, take a quick picture and get it back unharmed. Lake of the Woods is one of the few fisheries in the U.S. that still maintains a healthy population of trophy pike. It is our privilege to enjoy this wonderful natural resource, but at the same time, please respect these fish for future generations. If you have a few days open in April, you might think about targeting this fierce predator. Once you hook into a good one, you might question why it’s the one fish in April that often times “gets no respect”.
Page 34 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
Pike will slide into the shallows under the ice & set up for spawning. Entrances to bays can be a good spot to intercept hungry fish. Overall, pike prefer newly flooded vegetation vs. old vegetation full of slippery algae for spawning.
“The Walleye Capital of the World” it is best known for and it lives up to its reputation without a doubt. When much of the state is closed to fishing for walleyes and pike, up at Lake of the Woods it’s Game On! The walleye season extends to mid-April. This is prime time to fish the Rainy River as the ice is disappearing and the walleyes are swimming up in preparation for the spawn. Large numbers of fish and some monsters are possible. There is a tradition in these parts of tracking the open water in the river and dropping that boat in for the first time of the season. Results are often times incredible. The Rainy River also is famous for it Lake Sturgeon fishery. These fish live to over 100 years old and reach weights of over 100 lb. Arguably, the river and 4 Mile Bay offer the top sturgeon fishing in the Midwest.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 35
Angling Destination: The four Missouri River reservoirs in South Dakota (Oahe, Sharpe, Francis Case and Lewis and Clark) are some of the top angling destinations in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest. Over one half of all licensed anglers make a trip to one or more of these lakes annually with most seeking South Dakotaâ€™s favorite gamefish; walleye. Although walleye are the number one target species, anglers also come to these lakes for the chance to land Chinook salmon, smallmouth and largemouth bass, paddlefish, channel catfish, rainbow trout and many other gamefish species. There really are few places nationwide that offer such a wide variety of fishing opportunities.
Page 36 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 36
Successful fishing trips can be had throughout the year on all four lakes, however most fishing activity typically occurs from late spring through early fall. Once again, Lake Sharpe provided consistent walleye fishing throughout the summer months with daily limits of 1518 inch fish on most days. Late spring and early fall provided good walleye fishing on the lower portion of Lake Oahe after a few lean years. Oahe anglers were also successful fishing for Chinook salmon throughout the summer. Paddlefish snagging remained extremely popular for anglers on Lake Francis Case and below Gavins Point Dam. Although demand for those limited draw tags continued to outpace supply, anglers enjoyed great success with many fish approaching triple digits in weight. Channel catfish are still very abundant in the Missouri River reservoirs and provide an exceptional opportunity for anglers seeking them. Developing a future angling forecast is very difficult for these lakes due the wide variety of factors that play a role in both angler success and fish populations. Through fish sampling and angler surveys, biologists have a good understanding of the number and sizes of fish in the Missouri River reservoirs, but the biggest variables in the forecast equation continue to be weather patterns and the water levels on this constantly changing system. If South Dakota experiences a mild winter gizzard shad, a species that often “dies back” in during hard winters, may be more abundant. This could result in a slower bite for anglers since food is plentiful for predator fish like walleye. On the other end of the spectrum, a winter with less snowfall in the northern Rocky Mountains could reduce the amount of water that enters the Missouri River system which, in turn, means lower lake elevations. Traditionally fewer prey fish are produced in years of lower lake elevations which means the predator fish will be hungry and more vulnerable to anglers.
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Courtesy of South Dakota Missouri River Tourism Midwesthuntfish.com
Lake Oahe is the northernmost Missouri Reservoir in South Dakota. The Lake Oahe walleye population continues to show improvement since the flood of 2011. While there are fewer fish in the system than pre-flood years, the quality (i.e. “fatness”) of those fish has begun to surpass what was seen in the mid 2000s. There were many reports of 8+ pound walleye being caught in the lower portion of the lake from May through early July as well as reports of multiple 12-14 lb. fish caught by anglers fishing the northern reaches of Lake Oahe. Preyfish abundance in Lake Oahe remains high as cisco continue to provide an exceptional food source for predator fish in the lake. Although the number of smelt in Lake Oahe is still below pre-flood estimates, millions of smelt are produced each spring which provides an excellent prey resource. The large number of prey fish in Lake Oahe can make angling more difficult but it is also responsible for the great condition of walleye in the lake. Lake Sharpe spans approximately 80 miles from the tail waters of Oahe Dam to Big Bend Dam. It continues to be the “walleye factory” for which it has become known. As is the case with most of the Missouri River reservoirs, walleye fishing was excellent throughout the spring and summer of 2019. During the summer, walleye in Lake Sharpe have an abundant prey source in gizzard shad. This stable food source allows walleye to grow relatively quickly throughout the summer when the shad are still small and plentiful; however growth slows during the cooler winter and spring months when there are less gizzard shad available. This is likely a factor in why the Lake Sharpe consistently produces a large number of harvestable size walleye, but not the very large walleye that are more plentiful in other lakes in South Dakota.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 37
Lake Francis Case runs for approximately 120 miles from Big Bend Dam to Fort Randall Dam. Walleye and smallmouth bass are consistently the target of anglers from across the state and region. While the walleye population abundance is lower than in past years, it remained a quality fishery for 2019. The May paddlefish season on Lake Francis Case was again very successful with many anglers harvesting large fish from the area near the White River. Paddlefish catch rates are lower for the Francis Case paddlefish season when compared to the Gavins Point season; however the size of fish harvested is significantly larger in Lake Francis Case. Anglers can likely expect a similar fishing experience on Lake Francis Case in 2020.
Page 38 â€˘ Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 38
The smallest and furthest downstream of the Missouri River reservoirs is Lake Lewis and Clark. The walleye population is down when compared to the long term average, but a spring walleye bite can be found both on the lake and in the tail waters below the dam. A good year class of walleye was sampled in 2016 so there will likely be increases in walleye abundance in the future. This will also likely translate into an increase in catch and harvest as these fish continue to grow.
It’s a land of untouched nature, sparsely inhabited but passionately loved by anyone who has ever experienced it.
One day on the water and you’ll be hooked! www.sdmissouririver.com Midwesthuntfish.com
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 39
Lake Francis Case is the large, gently winding reservoir behind Big Bend Dam on the Missouri River in southcentral South Dakota that covers just over 100 miles and has a shoreline of 540 miles reaching a depth of 140 ft. The rolling prairie terrain along Lake Francis Case is a peaceful paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and the reservoir itself is home to all kinds of water recreation especially for anglers. In the water, you will find walleye, northern pike, sauger, sunfish, yellow perch, common carp, black bullhead, channel catfish and small-mouth bass but Chamberlain-Oacoma is best known for its walleye fishing. Avid Fisherman and local Chamberlain-Oacoma fishing guide, Brennan Lockwood, touts that “This part of the Missouri river is a walleye factory with the ability to catch your limit within the same school of actively feeding fish.”
One thing that is unique in our area is that there is fishing year-round. Lockwood credits the plentiful fishing to underwater sand flats, rocks, high cut banks, and submerged vegetation that make good spawning grounds for walleye and other species. Lockwood also recognizes the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks for their efforts in the area to maintain the fishing habitat. The limit here in South Dakota allows you to catch up to four fish per day between 15-19 3/4 inches and one fish over 20 inches.
Chamberlain-Oacoma Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB
Page 40 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 40
One of the first and legendary fishing guide services in the state of South Dakota, Allen’s Guide Service ran by Garry and Mike Allen, commented that “The Chamberlain-Oacoma Area specifically Lake Francis Case and Lake Sharpe has the best walleye fishing in all of the United States.” Allen indicated that “They are looking forward to a bumper catch in 2020 as the last two years the river has risen to record levels bringing an abundance of baitfish creating ideal conditions for spawning”. For the outdoor fanatic, Mike Allen says, “Five miles up or down the river you encounter the great wilderness; you are off the grid. Just you and nature.” Garry Allen explained that “Every angler has his style of fishing and many may be inclined to fish with plugs and lead core line within a 25 to 30 ft. channel, but if that doesn’t work our local fisherman and guides recommend using sizes #5 and #7 Flicker Shads and Shad Raps in 15-20 ft. of water”. Mr. Allen indicated that of the 1,000 guided tours they give every year, many of their patrons catch and release countless walleye over 20 inches which speaks to the health and abundance of walleye in the area.
Another successful method involves trolling close to the shore and spawning areas in the early morning with a lead core line and #5, #7, or #9 floating Rapalas and a 6 or 8 lb. test FireLine. The tried and true style of using and jig and minnow either vertical or casting near the rip rap or close to spawning areas is sure to produce your limit for the day. Our local fisherman recommends 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 oz. jigs with a 4 to 6 lb. test line. The Chamberlain-Oacoma area provides several boat docks to launch from, and you will also find rental slips at the Arrowwood Resort and Swenson Brother’s Marine. There are plenty of bait shops and safe places to park your trucks and trailers while on the water. Every summer, we are host to many ﬁshing tournaments and avid ﬁshermen, but the fun does not stop there! We also have an annual ice ﬁshing tournament every January. There is plenty of river for everyone. After you have caught your limit for the day, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some live music on the deck at Arrowwood Resort, catch a round of golf, a movie or a game of bowling, visit our museums, restaurants, and specialty shops offering a variety of one-of-a-kind experiences. Be sure to cross the iconic bridge to enjoy a piece of homemade pie and 5¢ coffee at the famous Al’s Oasis. The Chamberlain-Oacoma area is a fisherman’s paradise in a fun and family-friendly community.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 41
For four Fridays during the summer you will find a vibrant street festival on Chamberlain’s main street. Locals and visitors flock to the event to enjoy a taste of the finest food trucks and a vast selection of beverages in the beer/wine garden. This kid-friendly weekly event showcases live entertainment, vendors from around the state, and activities for both the youth and adults. Chamberlain says aloha to summer in a big way with a final bash on the third weekend of August. American Island Days are held over three days with main events on Saturday. You will find activities such as turtle races, strong man competitions, and a whole slew of bounce houses for the kids. Be sure to come hungry as there is always a selection of wonderful food from food trucks across South Dakota. The local car club lines the street around American Creek Recreation area. You’ll find yourself reminiscing of days gone by as these classic cars gleam in the sun. Chamberlain is also home to the South Dakota Hall of Fame, showcasing the contributions of many famous and trendsetting South Dakotans. Next to the Hall of Fame is the Veterans Memorial Park to honor all South Dakota military veterans and active-duty personnel for their unwavering service to our great country. Every military conflict that our country has ever endured is represented in this park through pavers of soldiers who have fought in them or are currently fighting. Because of the grassy prairie and grain fields, this area provides the prime habitat for pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, prairie chickens, turkeys, and geese. The Chamberlain-Oacoma area is honored to be selected as the #1 Pheasant Hunting DestinaPage 42 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
tion by Pheasants Forever. The communities rest in the heart of prime pheasant, grouse, deer and waterfowl country, with easy access from Interstate 90 and having one of the highest annual bird harvests and counts. Hunters can also pursue big game animals such as white-tailed deer, mule deer and antelope within a 50 mile radius. Chamberlain-Oacoma can easily become your top hunting destination in South Dakota. Rich, Native American history weaves its way through the area, you can find the Crow Creek and Lower Brule South Dakota tribes bordering the northern banks. You can visit the worldfamous Akta Lakota Museum at the St. Joseph Indian School in Chamberlain as well as the beautiful 50 foot high stainless-steel Dignity Statue. You can also take a drive on Native American Scenic Byway (Highway 50 and BIA 47) cutting through the heart of the Lakota Sioux Nation. The Native American Scenic Byway crosses the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservations. It travels across South Dakota's high plains through the hills and bluffs alongside the Missouri River. Dams constructed by the Corps of Engineers created two scenic lakes on the river: Lake Francis Case and Lake Sharpe. Among the wildlife inhabiting the area are deer, eagles, and large numbers of waterfowl. Anglers will find catfish, pike, bass, crappie, and sunfish in both lakes, but Walleye is king. The lakes offer numerous campgrounds and picnic areas. Come and enjoy the locals' secret fishing spot and take home plenty of Omega 3 for the freezer. We believe your stay will be worth your while but if you are not able to take it all in, we think that ChamberlainOacoma—is a place where…You’ll come back. Midwesthuntfish.com
Hosting the NWT Tournament, April 30 - May 1
605-234-4416 â€˘ www.chamberlainsd.comM
Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 43
The NWT Walleye Tour season commences April 30-May 1 in Chamberlain, SD, on Lake Francis Case. The sprawling Missouri River impoundment covers 107 miles and encompasses 102,000 acres.
“Chamberlain is a new place for most of the field,” said Bass Pro Shops pro Gary Parsons, who finished 10th in the Angler of the Year standings. “The end of April is usually right after the spawn, and the fishing should be steady. If you go too early in April, it can be hit or miss. At the end of April, it should be really good. Historically, Flicker Shads have been fantastic as well as jigs with plastics and jigs with minnows. Overall, it’s a great piece of tournament water; it’s very diverse.”
Page 44 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center at Cedar Shore welcomes the NWT and all of the anglers and visitors. We are proud to be your host resort for the tournament.
arrowwood logo Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center at Cedar Shore is located on the banks of the beautiful Missouri River. Come join us for a weekend of fun, or just an evening of fine dining.
Arrowwood Resort plays host to tons of fun activities: fishing, boating, swimming, dining on the deck and drinking at the Tiki Bar. We have an indoor pool, Conference Center, Bridges Restaurant & Lounge, game room and a work out room.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 45
“I’m always excited, but this schedule is extra special,” said Simms pro John Hoyer, who finished first, second and first at the final three events of the 2019 season “I think Chamberlain is the wildcard this year,” Hoyer offered. “Not a lot of us travel to the Missouri in the spring. Personally, I’m not much of a reservoir fisherman, so it’s a good challenge.”
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Platte SD | (605) 337-9777 | plattecreek.com Page 46 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
CHAMBERLAIN - OACOMA, SOUTH DAKOTA “A Destination for Everyone Along I-90”
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1981 East King Street 124 Front Street 1100 East Hwy 16 100 West Hwy 16 Chamberlain, SD 57325 Chamberlain, SD 57325 Oacoma, SD 57365 Oacoma, SD 57365 Phone (605) 734-0985 Phone (605) 234-8888 Phone (605) 234-1667 Phone (605) 734-5593 Fax (605) 734-0986 Fax (605) 235-8889 Fax (605) 234-1574 Fax (605) 734-6991 www.americinnchamberlainsd.com www.super8chamberlain.com www.baymontinns.com www.qualityinn.com
203 East Hwy 16 Oacoma, SD 57365 Phone (605) 234-4222 Fax (605) 234-6849 www.hojooacoma.com
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 47
NWT Walleye Tour April 30-May 1 Chamberlain, SD Lake Francis Case
A Taste with tradition!
Sunday & Monday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00 AM - 9:30 PM Friday & Saturday: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
118 S. Front St. Chamberlain, SD • 605-234-1518 Dakota Plains Gallery & Gift Shop 209 N. Main St., Chamberlain, South Dakota
Authentic Native American Gifts
Artwork, Beadwork, Star Quilts, Books, Drums… and more
Preserving the Culture of South Dakota’s Tribes Dakota Indian Foundation 605-234-5472 www.dakotaindianfoundation.org Page 48 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
sdleastwanted.com UNLESS YOU’RE...
LOADING, LAUNCHING OR ON THE WATER All PLUGS Must be out
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High quality foods, friendly service and great prices Quality Meats | Delectable Deli Fresh Bakery | Beer, wine & spirits 100 Paul Gust Rd., Chamberlain, SD (605) 234-5559 chamberlainfoodcenter.com
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201 W King St., Chamberlain, SD (605) 234-6811 Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 49
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One day on the water and you’ll be hooked!
Sunset Lodge Lake Oahe, SD
CALL TODAY! Experience Lake Oahe walleye fishing and SD pheasant hunting.
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Page 50 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 50
Lake Oahe is the first stop along the northern part of the Missouri River in SD. It stretches for 231 miles from Oahe Dam, near Pierre, all the way north to Bismarck, ND. The largest of the four Missouri River reservoirs, Lake Oahe is the "big water." This deep, clear lake - at its maximum depth, Oahe reaches 205 feet, makes for excellent boating and fishing.
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 51
Experience Upper Oahe Fishing
“IF YOU CAN”T HAVE FUN, STAY HOME!”
Call Today to book your Missouri River Vacation
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BobsResort.com | 605-765-2500 Lake Oahe / Gettysburg, SD
Page 52 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 52
Make us your
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OPEN 5AM DAILY Formed by the glaciers receding to the north over 20,000 years ago, this area of South Dakota is unique in its variety of family attractions, festivals, scenery, parks, hunting, fishing, outdoor activities and history. With over 100 great fishing lakes, you can fish a new lake every day.
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 53 53
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Watertown, SD | 605-882-4590 | danosmarine.com Page 54 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 54
FISH WAUBAY & BITTER
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Over the past several years, the fishing has been outstanding, some of the best in the Upper Midwest for walleye, perch and northern. Fisherman are coming to the glacial lakes area to experience some of the best fishing in our five state area.
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Watertown, SD • 4 miles west of I-29 - Exit 185 Midwesthuntfish.com
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 55
I’m sure some of you have, or have imagined fishing a lake where limits of walleye are just waiting below to grab your lure. Well, let me tell you, LAKE ERIE provides an even better opportunity than that; they may just all be 9 to 12 pound HAWGS. You are probably saying, is this really possible, and the answer is yes. With the population of walleye in the lake at one of its highest points ever and with some great classes of fish in their prime for this spring there will be an abundance of 30” fish chasing lures. I have heard them called Donkeys, pigs, toads, slabs, fatties, gravel lizards, monsters and wall bangers but I like to call them HAWGS. TIMING: It all starts around what would normally be ice out, but what is normal anymore? We have been fishing all winter on the Lake, so let’s just call it mid-March. The walleye typically start spawning the last week of March thru mid-April. The spring bite starts out as a pre-spawn bite with really big females full of eggs. As they spawn out it switches to a post spawn bite with these fish feeding hard all day.
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LOCATION: The pre spawn fish will be staging off of the reef structures in the adjacent flats in deeper water and at river mouths. The area would be from Oak Harbor, Ohio to Marblehead, Ohio. There are a lot of ramp choices available in all of these areas, do your homework so you are prepared. This fishing is close and in concentrated areas with lots of boat traffic. Post spawn the fish will start migrating back to the east and north opening up travel corridor fishing towards Kelleys Island, North Bass Island, Rattle Snake Island and Cedar Point spreading out the boats. You want to find the proper water clarity. My rule of thumb is if I can see my cavitation plate with my motor down and maybe a bit of the propeller then we can fish that water. If you can’t, move until you can. Then you must mark fish, NEVER fish where you are not marking fish even if other boats are fishing in the area. No marks, no fishing. Once you find the right water and marks, then we are looking for fish suspended in the water column. If they are belly to the mud they will be very difficult to catch, not impossible, but difficult. Now it’s time to select your baits.
BAIT SELECTION: Have your favorite stick baits ready to go for trolling. We use Bandits, Husky Jerks, Perfect 10’s, Top 20’s, Reef Runners and Flicker Minnows for trolling. The water tends to be a little murky this time of year so the louder the rattle the better. Bright sun, break out the chromes, cloudy, run with the natural colors. Remember fish mostly feed up so the bottom color catches the fish, the top color catches the fisherman. I stick with the 4 bottom colors that spell PROP. Purple, Red, Orange and Pink. I like baits with spots and stripes on them, they seem to work better. If you want to jig when they are bellied in the mud then have some blade baits, Rippin Raps and hair jigs ready to go. If you can find some live minnows, have some along it can make a big difference, at least have some salted minnows. SPEED AND BOAT CONTROL: We have the right water and marked some good fish now let’s wet some lines. Speed is critical and it is slow. Make sure you bring sea anchors, aka drift socks, to keep the speed down. .8 to 1.5 mph seems to be what works this time of year. With the cold water temperatures the fish are very lethargic and need the baits slow. Work some S-turns until you get things dialed in for speed making one side fast and one side slow, if they hit the slow side, then slow down, fast side, speed up. Make sure you are setting baits above the fish. One of the biggest mistakes made is fishing too deep. With the new three rods per person law, we can set more depths to find out what they want, then tune the other rods into what is working. If you just can’t seem to find suspended fish and they are all on the bottom then there are a couple techniques
you can try. We have literally banged our crankbaits into the mud and caught a lot of big fish. This is probably a reaction bite but it works, drop them deep enough that they are ticking the bottom stirring up mud and sediment, it attracts attention and strikes. You can also cast Rippin Raps or anything that makes a lot of noise, the louder the better. I have attached ball chains to the lips of baits to bang off the sides to make even more noise and it works. No matter what, do not go home empty handed if you can’t seem to get the HAWGS to go, pull up on the reefs and jig your blade baits and hair jigs for the males that are tending the eggs all over the reefs, they will be there for sure. This is also a great way to take home fillets after you have had photo ops or caught your wall hanger. Jigging the reefs can be a blast as those male fish are guarding feverishly and bite and fight. SUMMARY: It’s no secret that LAKE ERIE’s spring bite is the place to have one of the best opportunities in the country at a trophy walleye. So there is no time like the present to plan a trip to Ohio to chase these HAWGS. Whether you’re dragging your own boat to the lake or booking a trip with Pork Chop Express Charters, give yourself at least 3 days, bring lots of layered clothing and get your hooks sharpened and reels calibrated and come have a shot at that fish of a lifetime. Call Captain Sam at 833-646-3474 and visit his website at www. porkchopexpresscharters.com.
porkchopexpresscharters.com Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 57
Raising Them Outdoors Series
By Geremy Olson
I can tell stories all day long about all the fun I had with my dad in the outdoors. There was the time he learned how to remove fish hooks from my head. The time we cooked all weekend without utensils because yours truly left them all at home. There was the two guys we saved from drowning on a hot summer’s day and camping on the ice over the winter. Yeah, I have lots of memories that are cherished and many more that will always get a good laugh around the glowing campfire. The thing that they have in common is they were made possible by a dad that spent quality time with me. As a parent or grandparent there are a lot of books and perspectives on what it takes to raise kids. One thing is for sure you don’t even have to be a parent yet before people start doling out parenting advice. Throw in the outdoors and you get all sorts of anecdotal advice that generally never applies to your situation. Most people are looking for the one right way to raise kids. I am not that guy and this is not that article. This article is about what I’ve learned from my dad about spending quality time in the outdoors with my kids. Defining Success There are a lot of ways to define success. The trouble is if you get it wrong you can do more harm than good. It breaks my heart when I see a family come in after a day of fishing or hunting with their heads hanging because they didn't get a limit or the deer wasn’t big enough. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals, however achieving goals is only one part of having a successful outing. Likewise, many people place a lot of emphasis on having fun on every trip. Fun is a great side effect of success, but when an outing isn’t fun it can still be successful.
Growing up, my dad never talked about success when we were in the outdoors. What he did do is set a standard for success that I didn’t realize until I was navigating through raising my own kids. This standard became a definition and more importantly a principle my wife and I use to raise our kids in the outdoors. We define success as “a positive outdoor experience where we learn together.” As a parent, it’s extremely freeing and for kids it removes the pressure to reach a standard they aren’t ready for. This definition allows families to have a successful day regardless of the circumstances of the outing. Never Get Cold/Never Get Hungry I love taking new anglers out on the ice for the first time regardless of their age. One of the biggest complaints however I get from these new anglers is that the food is so good that they are going to have to go on a diet when they get home. Another thing I learned from dad is that everyone is in a better mood when they are warm and full. It didn’t matter if it was a rainy week in the Boundary Waters or a snowy camp out in the badlands, dad made sure we were warm and full. Some days this meant we played a lot of cards in the tent instead of our planned activities and other days we worked hard to make it through the conditions knowing we would be warm and full at the end of our adventure. Now that I am raising my own kids, I am learning how important this principle really is. In fact, the older I get the more I am learning that this principle has very little to do with food or shelter and everything to do with relationship and heart. All of us, regardless if we admit it or not, long to be loved and cared for. When we demonstrate that for our kids as they grow up, we are not only teaching them how to care for others we are building relationships with them. Assess, Adapt, Improvise, Overcome Any of you with a military background know this one in practice. For me this was more than a mission motto. It was a principle for life that helped me look at every situation with a multitude of possibilities. I grew up in a house without a lot of disposable income. I wanted a boat my whole life but we could never afford one. So I assessed my situation, adapted what I had, improved the tool I needed and I overcame the barriers in front of me. It seems funny now but when I was 14 years old I had a Chevette with a roof rack that carried a canoe Quality time is more than the that would have made many of today’s highlights of a trip, it also includes kayaks look under equipped. I fished the time spent doing nothing hundreds of hours each year in that more than enjoying a campfire at canoe never once complaining about the end of the day. what I didn't have.
P58 age 58 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
Learning this principle in the outdoors also helped me get through school as a kid. Growing up dyslexic I had to learn how to look at what I could do, what I had access to and how to overcome the barriers that were in front of me. More importantly as I look back, I see how freely we learned life's lessons in the outdoors without all the noise of the world getting in the way. As a parent it’s easier to reference a lesson my kids have learned in the outdoors and then suggest that they apply it to life. Put Others First I’m in my 20th year of parenting and with every day that goes by I see all the ways my parents demonstrated this principle to me. I also have struggled the most with teaching this one to my kids when it comes to the outdoors. My dad didn’t like to hunt or fish. Partly because he was really bad at hunting and fishing and partly because his family didn't hunt and fish growing up. Looking back I can’t count all the things my dad gave up to take me hunting and fishing. He put me and my dreams first over his own. When the opportunities arose he put me in places and situations where I had to choose whether I would put someone else before myself in the outdoors. I now have 4 kids with their own dreams and ambitions and it’s my responsibility to provide them with the opportunity to learn how to put others first.
There are endless right ways to raise kids in the outdoors because every kid and family is different. What I have learned over the years is that it’s important to spend quality time together. Quality time that can’t be planned or programmed, it can’t be bought or even guaranteed. But when I take the time to venture out into the outdoors with my family to stretch ourselves and learn together I get quality time with them. Not to mention more funny stories to tell around the campfire. Geremy Olson grew up in the outdoors. After being burned as a volunteer firefighter, he had to figure out how to teach outdoor skills to his children from a wheelchair while learning to walk. Today he is an inspirational speaker, FCA Outdoors volunteer, tournament director, video producer, wildfire consultant and proud father of the owners of Missouri Secrets Tackle. GOspeaks.live
Helping Morgan harvest her first deer was a success, but hearing her tell the story over and over with family and friends while she learned to process her first deer is also a success.
Watching the boys com pete each year in the MN Fishing Challe nge to see how much money they can raise to help people struggling with addiction demonstrates the lesson s they’ve learned growing up.
G OS P E A KS Geremy Olson, Inspirational Speaker
“He makes complicated things simple and understandable.”
“Gifted with humor and a great speaking ability.” Midwesthuntfish.com
idwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 • Page 59 For a list ofMtopics, go to GOspeaks.live
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Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 61
Don’t Overlook Your Liver health is as important as the care we give our hearts, lungs and kidneys. But it’s an often overlooked organ that can suffer damage over time. While it’s common knowledge that heavy alcohol use can harm this vital organ, diets high in fats and sugar, as well as spending too much time on the couch, can also lead to liver damage. More than nine in 10 diseases, including causes of liver disease, hemochromatosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver cirrhosis all can be prevented or improved with lifestyle adjustments – especially ones where both diet and exercise are changed. A great way to gain insight on your liver’s health is to discuss your risk factors with your primary health care provider. Together, you can consider the possible need for a liver panel test with your primary health care provider. “Liver failure can include many root causes, including those behaviors like poor diet and lack of exercise,” said Ali Al-Hajjaj, MD, ACG, who specializes in transplantation and hepatology with Avera Medical Group Liver Disease Sioux Falls. “It can also come from genetics or infections.” If you’re having any symptoms such as yellowed skin and eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain and swelling, itchy skin, swelling in the legs and ankles, mention them to your primary care provider, too. The liver panel tests include the ALT, and it measures alanine aminotransferase in the blood. Adults who have elevated scores – 20 or higher for women, 30 or higher for men – should work with their provider to determine the cause of abnormal tests and potentially reverse or prevent further damage. In time, the damage done to the liver, which serves to filter blood, produce important fluids our bodies need and also detoxifies our systems, will adversely impact your health. “The liver has a unique internal architecture, but a diet high Page 62 • Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020
Article courtesy of Avera.org
in sugar, fatty meats and alcohol will cause damage to these systems,” said Jeffery Steers, MD, FACS, who specializes in transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery with Avera Medical Group Liver Disease Sioux Falls. “Over time, the damage leads to reduced function. But the liver is resilient, so even if you start now with more exercise and improved diet, you can reverse some of the damage.” Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, and it usually stems from viruses like hepatitis A, B and C. A liver panel often will include tests for these conditions. Cirrhosis is when damage continues occurring over a long period of time, leaving permanent scars on the organ and reducing its effective function. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for all persons considered to be “Baby Boomers,” that they should have lab-test screening for Hepatitis C. This infection now can be cured with new medications. Nearly 1,000 patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C have received treatment recommendations from Avera Medical Group’s Hepatology clinic. Surgeons at Avera Transplant Institute conducted the first and only liver transplant in all of South Dakota in 2016. Since then, transplant surgeons have performed 30 life-saving transplants. The program recently received accreditation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), meaning that patients in the region with Medicare coverage now have access to liver transplant as an important part of their integrated care at Avera. Avera has evaluated more than 300 patients for liver transplantation since May of 2016. Avera has listed over 100 patients on the national waiting list, and 30 transplants have been performed. “Liver disease, when identified in a timely manner, is treatable,” said Al-Hajjaj. “If ignored, it can reduce quality of life and require more extensive treatment up to transplant.” To learn more go to Avera.org/services/liver Midwesthuntfish.com
Midwest Hunting & Fishing - March -April 2020 â€˘ Page 63
BREEZY POINT RESORT EPX P 64 L Oâ€¢ R M I NHunting NESO A.CO March -April 2020 age ME idwest &T Fishing -M
B R E E Z Y P O I N T, M N Midwesthuntfish.com