Tricounty News

School of Fish: Fishin’ Tip #2

Panfish are great targets

School of Fish kids learn that panfish like sunfish/bluegills, crappies, and perch are great targets for them to try to catch. Panfish are present in most lakes and rivers. Not only that, they are often willing biters and put up a good “fight” when hooked. Finally, they are often easily accessible to kids as they are often found in shallow water near shore fishing spots that kids can easily get to.

Because panfish are some of the smaller fish on the food chain and need protection from bigger predators, they like to hold along structure where they can hide. As mentioned in the last tip, boat docks, fallen trees and logs, and swim rafts in the water are all good panfish holding spots. Savvy anglers who identify those spots and make casts to them will often find and catch panfish in good numbers.

Looking for structure that panfish can hide along is good fishing advice. Because panfish are relatively small and have small mouths, using small baits is also solid advice. A small “panfish” leech, portion of a nightcrawler, or “crappie” minnow are often good panfish baits. Fishing these baits on a tiny panfish jig like a Gypsi Jig or Fire-Fly Jig completes the lure package and, fishing them below a slip-bobber is a great way to present them. In a future tip we will review some secrets to make slip-bobber fishing for panfish even more successful. As always, good luck on the water!

School of Fish is a three-hour fishing education class that was hosted in your community this year. Four tips will be offered this summer as follow up to that offering for both the kids who attended School of Fish and others getting started in the great sport of fishing! School of Fish is supported by: Northland Fishing Tackle, KLN Family Brands, Larson Boats, Shakespeare Fishing, and Soderholm Insurance.

Check out the School of Fish website Also, follow School of Fish on Facebook: School-of-Fish for more fishing tips and the chance to win some great fishing prizes!

Firearm safety class sign-up

Firearm safety sign-up will be July 28, 2013 from 7-8 p.m. at the Kimball Rod and Gun Club for anyone turning 12 BEFORE Dec. 31, 2013, or older. Birth Certificate required this night. Classes will be held every Wednesday and Sunday from 7-9 p.m., until field day on Saturday, Aug. 17. MUST be able to attend field day! 

Call Charlie Serbus at (320) 761-6507 or Carly Serbus at (320) 266-6225 with any questions.

Hockey equipment donated

The River Lakes Hockey Association will be receiving 10 sets of starter hockey equipment as part of the 2013 Gear Up Minnesota! starter equipment grant program. Each set will include everything a young player needs except skates, stick, and supporter/cup. River Lakes Hockey will utilize this equipment to provide starter hockey equipment to new hockey players. River Lakes Hockey has several clinics, programs, and opportunities for new skaters to give kids the opportunity to try hockey. For more information about River Lakes Stars Hockey, visit our website at

Total Hockey and the Minnesota Wild Foundation are the signature supporters of Gear Up Minnesota! West Bend Insurance, Subway, Shock Doctor and Northwest Design also made significant contributions to the program. Because of this tremendous generosity, the 2013 Gear Up Minnesota! equipment grant program is granting a total of 366 sets of starter equipment for the 2013-14 season!

School of Fish: Fishin’ Tip #1

You have to find ’em!

School of Fish kids learn that fish like to live around “structure”. Structure includes things in and along the water that provide food and cover. Obviously, fish need to eat. However, because they are part of the lake or river’s “food chain”, they also need cover to use as hiding spots from bigger fish.

Things in the water like weeds, logs or fallen trees, and boat docks and lifts provide places fish like to live around because these places are often home to minnows and other baitfish that bigger fish can feed on. These places also provide hiding spots that fish can quickly dart under or along when even bigger predator fish come along.


Take a kid fishing and fish free June 7-9

Celebrate the end of the school year with a potential angler-to-be by fishing for free with a child 15 or younger, June 7-9, during Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

“This is a great opportunity to discover fishing,” said Mike Kurre, the DNR’s mentoring program coordinator. “Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don’t need a license that weekend. Opportunities for beginning anglers abound throughout Minnesota.”

Getting started is easy. A boat isn’t needed and there’s even loaner poles and tackle in some areas.