Fishing Methods


The three most common Minnesota fishing methods are cast-and-retrieve, stillfishing and jigging. By casting a lure from shore or boat, then retrieving it through the water, an angler can cover the most water in the shortest amount of time. This is appropriate when exploring a new fishing spot. Stillfishing with bait works best when you have a good idea where the fish are located. Cast out a bait from shore or anchored boat, and then wait for the fish to come to you. Jigging, usually from a boat is done by bouncing a lure up and down off the lake bottom.

There are many other methods of angling, such as fly fishing, cane polling, ice fishing, and bait casting. Each method offers advantages to the angler. The fun and challenge of fishing is finding out which method works best for the fishing situation you face.

Catch and Release

Every year in Minnesota the number of anglers increases and the fishing equipment is more effective, but the number of fishing lakes and rivers remains constant. So, it’s no surprise then that the number of big fish in Minnesota continues to decline.

One way to reverse this trend is for anglers to practice catch and release. The concept is very simple: by not keeping all of your catch, there will be some left for tomorrow.

For catch and release to work, however, anglers must know how to handle and release a fish so it will survive.

Follow these simple guidelines:


  1. Use barbless hooks
    Flatten barbs with a pliers or file them down.


  2. Set the hook quickly
    This prevents the fish from swallowing the bait and becoming throat hooked.


  3. Hold the fish firmly, but gently
    A flopping fish can injure itself.


  4. Use needlenose pliers to remove hooks
    This lets you remove the hook quickly while touching the fish as little as possible.


  5. Cut the line if the fish is throat-hooked
    The stomach acids of a fish will corrode the hook away in just a few days.


  6. Gently slide the fish back into the water
    Fish can die if thrown back in. Try to keep the fish in the water.


  7. Revive a tired fish
    Gently move a tired fish back and forth in the water to move water through its gills.