Why I eat fish on a weekly basis

 

 

I have to start with a disclaimer because I love fishing and nothing’s better than eating the actual fish that you’ve caught yourself. Plus, it helps my special someone experiment with a bunch of recipes she might have read about on the internet. This way, we’re connected in some inexplicable way especially as she doesn’t have a special interest in the angling business.

Now that we’re past that, I can finally begin by saying that I enjoy eating fish on a regular basis. I used to buy some salmon and tuna, but most of the canned varieties that I have tried over the years are overly processed and the taste just doesn’t resemble that of my catches. On the one hand, the fish I catch is fresh, it’s right out of the water. On the other, it’s packed with a bunch of nutrients that are pretty much absent in processed food.

One thing I like about salmon, in particular, is that it contains heaps of fats that are extremely healthy. Most people like fried chicken and other potentially unhealthy specialties, but the fact is that all of this stuff needs to be fried in oils that might affect you in the long run, especially if this is what you eat every day. By contrast, if you throw a piece of salmon in a pan, it will create some oils on its own, therefore allowing you to fry it naturally.

I’ve also read some studies that go into detail with regard to how fish can keep your heart in top shape. Most associations dealing with cardiac health have published various scientific works that have proven that eating fish is particularly healthy.While I am a bit wary of this idea, some say that fish consumption can prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s because the nutrients apparently protect nerves and brain cells, as well. Again, I can’t be particularly sure of all of this, but I have learned in school that the fat content in the brain is extremely high so eating healthy fats is a good idea.

Finally, I’d like to add that everyone knows that vitamin D is extremely important for bone development and various other processes occurring in the human body. The problem is that there’s virtually no chance of you getting the amount of vitamin D you need from the food that you eat, unless you consume fish. Exposure to sunlight is the simplest way of getting enough vitamin D, but these days this practice is somewhat risky given the number of skin cancer cases. I myself know a lot of people who have stopped going to the beach in summer entirely because they’re afraid they might get skin cancer.

So these are some of the reasons that I like eating fish as often as I can.

Fishing in Minnesota – a few tips and gear recommendations

 

The first thing that you ought to bring with you when fishing in Minnesota is a fishing license. If you aren’t from the area, it might pay off to do a bit of research and even go online and look for the Minnesota DNR fishing licenses. If you are part of a guided trip, you have nothing to worry about with regard to the tackle, rods, reels, and any other type of equipment, as your guide will be responsible for providing all of this. On the other hand, if you aren’t willing to invest in such a trip, I’ve put together a simple list of the gear and other items you might require to get the most of your fishing adventure.

Aside from the actual angling gear, you’ll have to pack some beverages, rain gear, a camera, sunscreen, some bug repellent, a pair of good-quality polarized sunglasses, and a pair of rubber boots. Your tackle box can have a lot of items that may differ in size and actual features, depending on the area in Minnesota you’ll be fishing in, but also depending on the season. Some of the equipment that I have used over the years ranges from a spinning rod and reel to good-quality hooks and several types of bait. I personally prefer using a medium-action 6 to 7-ft rod with 6 to 10lb test line, but this depends on your requirements and expertise. Choose the right type of rod for the species you are targeting and for your skill level.

As for the bait, I use both artificial and natural. I typically utilize anything from rubber bodied jigs to floating jigs and even throw in some hair and feather type jigs, as well as plugs and topwater stick baits. To make sure that I’m prepared for every situation, I also bring some sinkers, bobbers and stringers. Needle nose pliers come in handy for releasing the fish, and you might give some thought to bringing them along, as well, as you don’t want to risk killing a young one and have no possibility to throw it back in the water. I know that the catch and release policy isn’t particularly popular with some anglers, but I have found it to be the most humane way of dealing with all of the fishing adventure business. It’s practically the single and most efficient method of ensuring that you’ll have some targets next year, as well.

Obviously, the bait that you’ll be putting in your tackle box will depend on the fish you’ll be trying to catch. For instance, when targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass, you might want to bring along some surface and diving plugs, spinnerbaits, and slip bobbers. For walleye, you’ll need floating jig heads, sinking plugs, as well as hair and feather type jigs. For northern pike, stick to spinnerbaits, surface, and diving plugs, as well as spoons. Panfish is the easiest of all as you’ll only have to take some assorted jigs in small to medium sizes and slip bobbers.

My fishing gear

 

 

Proud to be from Minnesota, I am an avid outdoors person who loves everything my state has to offer in the way of fishing and hunting. I go fishing and hunting as often as I can, making use of every national holiday to get even better at those activities. Aside from watching a lot of fishing and hunting videos, I visit many websites dedicated to those sport activities, whether they are instructional or geared as equipment buying guides. I have been fascinated by the amount of information available to outdoor enthusiasts like me, despite the fact that many of those websites are designed for advertising purposes. That doesn’t matter, because the only way we can really get more than enough information about what is available on the market is through those well-designed advertisements, right? They have always been an effective means of connecting brands to consumers.

http://fishing-in-minnesota.com/blog/2013/04/26/lake-mille-lacs/

I make sure to invest in top quality fishing gear, as I intend to enjoy the activity for years. In fact, I even hope to have my own children someday get interested in the sport. My girlfriend and I are already hooked on both hunting and fishing, and between us, we have already accumulated a significant amount of gear that we use on numerous outdoor adventures in and around Minnesota.

I am happy to report that I was able to buy the right equipment for fishing primarily thanks to the help of our local tackle shop. When my girlfriend and I were just starting out on fishing, we visited the shop and told the sales people there what we wanted to fish, and they gladly assisted us with where the best fishing spots were. Over time, our gear collection grew from what they had recommended at first to an entire array of equipment we have bought after doing our own research and careful testing. It’s a great thing that top quality fishing equipment manufacturers have pretty good return policies so we have been able to make sure we got only what we really needed for our activities.

Typically, you will want this item to be in your fishing gear collection: a 6- to 7-foot, medium to medium-light action rod with graphite construction. A two-piece rod allows effortless storage and transport. The matching spinning reel should preferably be medium to medium light and filled with a premium quality 8-pound test monofilament line. Some models come with a spare spool. The line should be 4#, while the spare spool should be wound with 6# test line.

You should also have quality hooks in various sizes, along with assorted ball-bearing snaps and swivels. You will also want a tackle box, but a fishing vest with plenty of pockets would also be good enough to hold your fishing tackle. Polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

To determine what type of fishing rod is perfect for your own use, you’ll have to figure out what type of fish you intend to use the pole for as well as how you’ll be fishing for them. Generally, I prefer a telescoping fishing rod especially the ones made of fiber glass. Take note of the recommended line rating for the rod as well as the lure weight ranges for it. As a rule of thumb, the fishing pole should offer dependable performance in the middle of that range. You can’t use those line ratings for sure if you go for braided fishing lines. While one-piece rods outclass multi-piece ones, the latter do offer the convenience of effortless transport and storage. A rod that feels right in your hand has the proper weight, feel, sensitivity, stiffness, length, taper and guide material. A lightweight rod reduces the stress of long days of casting.

I still have the spinning reel that I bought during my beginner days. As I have gotten more serious about the sport, I have explored the potential of custom rods, which are specially made to my preferences and favorite fishing style. I have proven that longer rods offer further casting while shorter ones provide greater leverage when reeling the catch in, especially when I and my  best fishing buddy namely, my girl, are on a boat. A shorter rod, on the other hand, provides the leverage needed for bottom fishing from the boat.

I own both waist high and hips waders. I am eyeing a pair of chest waders because I am fascinated by how they deliver the most coverage. My hip waders offer on-and-off convenience, giving me easy wear with regular clothes while still providing adequate coverage to handle plenty of wading tasks. I use them on smaller streams and when launching or recovering a fishing boat, as well as big-game hunting in boggy terrain. Wearing like a pair of pants, my waist-high waders come with belt loop and a belt to enable me to keep them up securely.

 

Things you need to know about the catch and release policy

 

 

 

Catch and release fishing is always a personal choice. In the first place, sport fishing isn’t always about coming home with something. In my case, fishing is my excuse for angling in new waters, seeing beautiful fishing locations, and when lucky, feeling the definite tug of a fish at the end of the fishing line. The thrill of being able to have that connection with another living creature is as electrifying as it is fulfilling.

The catch and release policy is a means of ensuring dependable returns for anglers who come after me on the lake or river. Every fish returned to the water presents an opportunity for a fellow angler. More importantly, it gives the fish species a chance to multiply or spawn, giving way to more robust runs and more fishing potential in the future, not to mention the fact that older fish are more capable of reproducing. One less fish in the cooler is always more fish for the future.

When doing catch and release, I always keep the fish in the water. It is stressful for the fish to be taken out of its natural habitat, which is why we see landed fish struggling with all its might to get back into the water. I either use pliers to remove the hook from the fish’s mouth, or do it with my hand. I do not wish to drag the fish onto the riverbank or shore, because its scales could easily lose moisture that way. As much as possible, catch and release should be done in the water, as it increases the chances of the fish to survive. To be more humane about it as well, I use barbless hooks, or lures with the barbs pinched down. This will not only ensure that I don’t lose more fish but also enables faster catch and release while ensuring less damage to the mouth of the fish. For this purpose, I use J-hooks or circle hooks that I de-barb by squishing the barb flush. In addition, the lures that I use support shallow hooking.

 

For fighting the fish, I make sure to use oversized fishing line as well as gear for quick landing of the fish. As much as possible too, I use a stronger fishing line test as well as a heavier fishing rod. The fight should be short so I can land the fish quickly. A fish-friendly rubber net helps me land the fish when necessary. I then use wet hands to handle the fish to ensure that the protective slime coating on the skin of the fish won’t come off. Other anglers use soft wet gloves.
When removing the hook, I use hemostats, pliers or other unhooking devices to facilitate quick yet gentle unlatching from the mouth of the fish. Should the fish be deeply hooked, I just cut the line as close as possible to the hook itself. The fish should not be exposed to air for too long.
After release, the fish may appear weak or lethargic, in which case, there will be a need to circulate water through the creature’s gills. To do this, I hold the fish in the water with the head facing fast-moving, preferably bubbly current. If current is not present, I move the fish in a figure eight pattern forward through the water. Then I release the fish once it is able to energetically swim away.

Things you can do while you’re waiting for the fish to bite

 

 

It’s during those moments when you’re waiting for the fish to bite that you get bored with the activity. In my case, at first I yawn, then slap myself awake. I have earned to enjoy the waiting period by doing different things. I know I need to focus on what I’m doing in that situation, because fish can be quite unpredictable. One moment they could be disinterested and the next they’d be biting tentatively on the end of the line. Kind of makes you want to think why you didn’t pick up a more interesting sport in the first place. Well, I have gotten the boredom out of my system, which comes out of waiting for a bite from the fish. I have been enjoying the waiting time listening to music on my cell phone. No blasting speakers though, so I just use in-ear headsets. Otherwise, I listen to the weather station on my portable weather radio. It gives me assurance I am not fishing on a day that can get rumpled by a storm.

 

Another thing I do is just to relax and enjoy the view. This is the primary reason I only fish in locations that come with a fantastic scenery. There’s always waterfowl or a great-looking bird out there that can brighten up the dreariness of waiting for the fish to bite. There are times when I sit on my boat waiting for the fish to bite for hours and never get a bite. I just enjoy the laidback atmosphere, because work can be exhausting. I say waiting for the fish to bite is a Higher Power’s way of telling us not to worry too much about the future, if you know what I mean.

I also bring a book along to keep me amused. Reading has become a luxury for me, and waiting for the fish to bite gives me enough time to finish chapters or even an entire book in one day. I own this nice wooden portable book stand on which I position my book for reading.

When a fellow angler goes by on a fishing boat, I make small talk. It’s interesting what stories you can share with other anglers while waiting. I have met many fishing friends this way, many of whom have kept in touch through the years.

I also like watching YouTube videos on fishing while I wait for the fish to bite. The pointers and tips you can pick up from the videos can make the activity more exciting. There’s always something new on YouTube, even for anglers like me. Sometimes, I reply to emails on my cell phone from friends and relatives. I go onboard on social media networks to see what’s going on with the world. I take self photos as well or make a video about the fishing trip. Although I have no dreams of becoming a YouTube sensation, video making can be so exciting.

Yep, waiting for the fish to bite should not be extremely boring. It provides a fun means of discovering yourself or the world one fish at a time.

 

 

About me

18I live in the great state of Minnesota, commonly referred to as the “Land of 1,000 Lakes”. Yes, there really are that many lakes in the state, and probably a few more. That means that almost every resident knows how to fish, and for some of us even freezing winters can’t keep us from the lakes. Ice fishing is a way of life in some places, and trust me you don’t want to mess with another angler’s frozen spot on the lake.

 

Along with fishing we also have a lot of hunting, and I’m happy to report that our pheasant index is up this year. That means we’ll be allowed to legally bag more and that is always a good thing. If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying fresh roasted pheasant, I suggest you add it to your “bucket list”. The game is so plentiful in my state that there are actually events help to help recruit and retain hunters and anglers. This doesn’t mean that we don’t care about the environment, the opposite is actually true. That is why we work so hard to ensure we keep our wildlife populations under control. When fish and animal populations explode that is when you run into problems.

 

In case you can’t already tell I am passionate about hunting and fishing, and try to participate in every season. That actually isn’t that hard since something seems to always be in season. Some of my favorites are northern pike and pheasants, but I also love going after walleye. I’m also getting interested in big game, and that is what gave me the idea to start this blog. I needed a new platform to tell my stories, since my friends and family swear that they’ve heard them all before.

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I don’t just spend time outdoors hunting and fishing, I also just love being out in the fresh air. So this blog will also cover my hikes and the cool new places that I discover on the way. Incidentally, this is how I find many of my favorite fishing spots, along with the perfect place for my tree stand. I literally can’t wait for the start of deer season. I know that this spot is perfect, and hopefully this year I’ll be able to bag a 6 or 8 pointer.

 

So now you know a little bit about me, and the things that I am passionate about. I promise to keep everyone updated on my adventures, and I can’t wait to start sharing some of my tips and tricks with fellow hunters and anglers. Who knows maybe after reading a few of my blog entries you’ll realize that Minnesota really is an outdoor lover’s paradise.