The State of Fishing – Today vs. Yesteryear

by | May 30, 2017 | Blog Posts | 0 comments

We’ve all heard the stories of fishing’s “good ol’ days” — and seen the faded photos of fishermen in buffalo plaid, stringers almost too heavy to hoist, and proud smiles behind a haze of cigarette smoke.
It seems crazy now, but until just a few decades ago, anglers kept almost everything they caught.
My, how times have changed!
Anglers now realize that fish are a finite resource – and selective harvest, catch & release, and smarter management are the keys to sustain healthy fisheries.
As angler knowledge has grown at nearly light-speed over the past decade, angler ethics have become even more important.
High-definition lake mapping, futuristic sonar technologies, and deadly presentations have given anglers a huge advantage over their quarry.
Reality is, angling knowledge has overrun natural fish production.
You’d think that the quality of fishing today would suffer, but quite the opposite is happening. In fact, it could be argued that right now we’re experiencing the best fishing we’ve ever had.
Beyond anglers doing their part, state agencies have adopted smarter, more effective management strategies to create and maintain sustainable fish populations and trophy-class waters. 

Case in point, the Minnesota DNR handles many of the state’s waters on a lake by lake basis, researching the bag, possession, and slot limits best suited to the long-term health of that individual lake.
State biologists look closely at specific year classes, protecting valuable spawners while allowing harvest of juveniles and the occasional trophy.
As a result, many waters are kicking out more and bigger fish than ever before.
Such is the case with panfish, where experimental and special regulation lakes are now producing trophy bluegills and crappies.
Although some of the angling public was apprehensive of lowering bag limits on specific lakes to 5 or 10 bluegills – or minimum length requirements for “keeper” crappies – once anglers experience the positive results, they’re thankful for the change.
Another example of better fishing through management is Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota, a lake that proves muskie, walleye, and smallmouth bass populations can exist in harmony, despite what many anglers will tell you. Vermilion’s fishing for all species is off-the-charts.
But the elephant in the room throughout much of the upper Midwest is the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (or AIS), which can radically change entire ecosystems.
In response, state agencies, private organizations, and anglers have worked hand in hand to stop the spread of these silent invaders.
Boat ramp checks, public awareness campaigns, and angler stewardship have slowed the spread of Eurasian Milfoil, Zebra mussels, Spiny Waterflea, Starry Stonewart, and other invasive plants and animals.
At the end of the day, if there’s any lesson to be learned, it’s that the management of healthy waters – and good fishing – is everyone’s job.

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AnglingBuzz is designed around the current fishing conditions happening where you are. Broken down by species and season, AnglingBuzz covers topics in-depth to help you find and catch more fish.


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