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Along the Portage

Along the Portage is the Voyageur's outdoor news section. Here readers find year-round coverage of local hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Regular features include the DNR Question of the Week, and Mike Rahn's "Inside the Outdoors" column. Captivating wildlife photos by local photographers are a special addition to Along the Portage.

 

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Recent Headlines

Camera lapses

Ruffed grouse counts increase, possibly signaling uptrend

Hunters helping HEROS

Dad's day a good one

Farmer's market in McGregor?

Retirement into high gear

Preview of ... 31st annual McGregor Area Lakes Fishing Tournament

Warm weather gets fish (and ticks) moving

Minnesota fishing opener 2014

Color me versatile

Last week’s fishing adventures found me changing it up a little to put fish in the boat. This is a normal practice for me, as sticking with the same bait all day long just doesn’t cut it if I’m not catching fish. That’s called fishing, not catching.

The lure presentations basically stayed the same but it’s a change of color that really made the difference.

There are times, however, when you’ve narrowed it down to what they like and fishing is still painstakingly slow. This is about the only time I’ll stay with a presentation but if the fish are moderately active and feeding I’ll search the tackle box and make several changes before settling down to one lure.

One example is a panfish trip that displayed some very finicky fish. I was using the same presentation that I did two days prior. That’s when my fishing detective work took place.

I had caught some nice crappie and a bluegill or two but my partner was having ....

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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Fun on the Fourth: Jason Buckingham and Amanda Clusiau enjoyed great walleye fishing on the Fourth of July weekend.

Recent Headlines

Ruffed grouse counts increase, possibly signaling uptrend

Hunters helping HEROS

Dad's day a good one

Farmer's market in McGregor?

Retirement into high gear

Preview of ... 31st annual McGregor Area Lakes Fishing Tournament

Warm weather gets fish (and ticks) moving

Minnesota fishing opener 2014

Pride and fish prejudice

Camera lapses

Setting the hook, I knew immediately that it was what I like to call a good fish. Bass fishing, and using a 4-inch jig worm presentation, I thought I had on one of the big largemouth that frequent this little lake. It pulled drag, which was screwed down fairly tight, but I didn’t like the feel of it. It just wasn’t “bassy.”

Battling a big fish along with high winds is never a good thing but I did finally manage to gain control and it was as expected, a beautiful big northern pike. It wasn’t a bass but that’s okay, I’d take it. It would be a great “picture fish,” which would be released shortly after a quick photo session.

Fishing with a partner makes this all too easy. It’s just hold it up, click, click, and release it back into the depths. However, when fishing alone, which I do all too often, taking good photos can be a real challenge.

The fish was now in the “green room,” a large, aerated live-well, awaiting the photo session. All I had to do was get things in order and it was at this point when I realized I left the tripod hanging on the wall in my garage. Not to worry. All I had to do was stack a couple tackle boxes up high enough to get a good shot, something I’ve done many ....

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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Ruffed Grouse Population Index in Minnesota

Recent Headlines

Hunters helping HEROS

Dad's day a good one

Farmer's market in McGregor?

Retirement into high gear

Preview of ... 31st annual McGregor Area Lakes Fishing Tournament

Warm weather gets fish (and ticks) moving

Minnesota fishing opener 2014

Pride and fish prejudice

Send us your local catch

Ruffed grouse counts increase, possibly signaling uptrend

MINNESOTA DNR— Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were significantly higher than last year across most of the bird’s range, according to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Ruffed grouse drums increased 34 percent from the previous year, with the increase happening in the northern part of the state,” said Charlotte Roy, DNR grouse project leader. “This may signal the start of an upswing in the grouse cycle that since 2009 has been in the declining phase.”

The increase is consistent with changes typical of the 10-year grouse cycle. The most recent peak in drum counts occurred in 2009. The cycle is less pronounced in the more southern regions of the state, near the edge of the ruffed grouse range.

Drumming is a low sound produced by males as they beat their wings rapidly and in increasing frequency to signal the location of their territory. Drumming displays also ....

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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