by Bret Amundson, photos by Bret Amundson and Nick Trauba


Bret Amundson with a catfish
Bret Amundson with a catfish

Cast a wide net.

Or don’t.  Some days you just don’t need to.  Today was one of those days for Nick Trauba and myself.  While we didn’t bring in a limit of walleye, we caught nearly every species listed for the lake we fished.

Four hours of bobbing on Lac qui Parle lake in western Minnesota netted walleye, crappie, northern pike, bluegill, perch, catfish, sheepshead and rock bass.  Nearly all the game fish that inhabit this section of the Minnesota River.

Trauba with a 10" bluegill
Trauba with a 10″ bluegill

The “catch” was that all of these were caught on the same jig.   Well, multiple versions of the same jig.  1/4 oz jig tipped with a fathead or crappie minnow.  The old stand by proved to be effective across all fish platforms.  (That sounded weird).  Uh…we caught all the fish on it.  (That’s better.)

WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2The catfish proved to be worthy fighters, the pike tested the light tackle and the stout bluegill may have stolen the show.   A hefty 10-inch fish that excited both anglers in the boat more than any other fish.

The walleyes weren’t in abundance and they weren’t huge, but some nice eaters came home and will get intimate with my stomach this evening.

But the story of the day was the variety.

While catching fish you’re not targeting can be a taxing experience, finding enough variety to keep things interesting helps.  It also helps when the fish are big enough to throw down and fight!

Nick Trauba with a 32" pike
Nick Trauba with a 32″ pike

Both catfish that I caught fought hard and long, yanking line from my reel and bending my rod like a folding chair.   The stained water kept us from seeing just what was pulling on the other end and we’d both get excited hoping a monster walleye was the culprit.  A collective sigh would be heard in the boat a picture would be taken anyway.

Real black crappie
Real black crappie

One of the catfish will go in the fry tonight along with crappies, bluegills and of course, some walleye.  A great ending to a hot summer spring day in late May.

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