We had a great day on Blue Lake. Crappies were busy and so was the filleting the next day. It’s a joy to teach fishing!
Trip of a lifetime for one lucky angler! 40+ inch pike and Border View Lodge donated a free trip to whatever student got the biggest fish! Lucky Kennedy!
We partnered with a great organization called Let’s Go Fishing https://itasca.lgfws.com/. They take disabled adults, kids, elderly, or other special populations fishing. They were a joy to be around, and such a giving organization! Thank you! We filleted a few for a nice meal!
Meet Austin, “Pike Slayer” Graduating Senior who boated this 36 inch, 15 pound: monster pike on a recent outing with Spartan Angling! Screams of excitement were heard around Itasca County! Fish was released for the next angler!
Great trip to Border View Lodge! Lots of first walleye and a VERY generous person (wants to rename unnamed) purchased sweatshirts for the entire class. Fishing was great and the fish fry was even better upon return to the school! Thank you to Border View Lodge and all of our sponsors for making this happen! We make slimy memories for kids!
Spartan Angling is a class at Nashwauk High School that teaches the art and science of Minnesota angling. Originally started on an R3 (Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Re-activation) from the MN DNR, the class has exploded in popularity among students at Nashwauk High School. Students learn fish behavior, fish species and biology, seasonal migration, reading contour maps, interpreting gill net surveys, conservation, rod building, invasive species, shoreline management, and much more! The class aims to create stewards of waterways for generations to come and instill a lifelong bug to fish.
The angling class was due for their second ice outing of the semester at Nashwauk’s famous Blue Lake. The trip was delayed a day due to very cold weather, but in true Minnesota fashion, the next day didn’t warm up much! Students boarded the open air atv trailer at -10 degrees and made the voyage on the plowed road to the spot. Strong winds out of the South were expected to warm up the arctic air later in the day.
The anglers hunkered down in their shacks as the brisk morning air lingered on the lake. Students learned how to set up shacks, read Vexilars, drill holes, bank in houses, jig for crappies, use a set line, safely remove hooks, and other life skills for angling. There is a very fast learning curve using electronics in ice fishing, and the kids figured out swiftly that green is your lure and red is a fish! The morning bite produced a few crappies, but then the lull of the mid day took over. I went out on a scouting mission to try to find some active fish for the youth anglers as the wind really started blowing from the South. It was one of those days when you drill a hole and the snow blows right into it, as avid anglers can relate. I did manage to find a school of fish and we moved the shack over to the top of them. However, it was a different game now with the wind and a hub house. The students quickly learned that setting up an 8X8 hub house in 25 mph winds is not easy. It took a team of four students to successfully bank, anchor, and set up the house. One support pole snapped in the winds upon the set up.
Once the heater was light, it was game on. The active crappies loved set lines with minnows and keepers were caught along with a nice pike that was chasing the panfish. Kids enjoyed the day and slimy memories were made! Spartan Angling is always looking for monetary support, donations, or gear to assist in taking kids fishing. Please see our website for more of what we do and how to donate! www.spartanangling.com Sincerely, Luke Adam, Spartan Angling: email@example.com
Brayden Austad with a chunky pike!
Left to right: Brayden Austad, J.J. Bennett, Ethan Kafut, and Carter Haithcock with crappies.
After talking up darkhouse angling for months, the time was finally right for Spartan Angling to take it to the ice on O’brien Reservoir. Spartan Angling is a class at Nashwauk High School that teaches the art and science of Minnesota angling. Originally started on an R3 (Angler Recruitment, Retention, and Re-activation) from the MN DNR, the class has exploded in popularity among students at Nashwauk High School. Students learn fish behavior, fish species and biology, seasonal migration, reading contour maps, interpreting gill net surveys, conservation, rod building, invasive species, shoreline management, and much more! The class aims to create stewards of waterways for generations to come and instill a lifelong bug to fish.
Originally partnered with the Grand Rapids MDAA Chapter (Rick Guertin), it has been a while since the class has speared thanks to Covid-19. Rick originally met with our class a few years back, and showed kids the ropes on Jay Gould Lake. Ever since then, students have seen the pictures, watched the videos, and have been begging to go try their luck at dark house angling. Finally the day was scheduled for mid December prior to students’ holiday vacation.
O’Brien Reservoir lies between Keewatin and Nashwauk on Minnesota’s famous Iron Range. The reservoir was created by damming up the historical O’Brien Brook, when the new double lane Highway 169 was created in the 1970’s. O’Brien Reservoir holds northern pike, walleye, bass, panfish, crappies, and surprisingly nice perch. It also acts as a flowage for dewatering of the U.S. Steel’s Keetac’s mine pits, so the water stays very clear, perfect for spearing.
We set up near the public beach over a weed bed in 8 feet of water. Great clarity for viewing and an oncoming weather front hopefully will send the pike into a frenzy for the day. We were equipped with spears from Dream Outdoors (Rod Havens out of Michigan) and ice saws to cut out underwater television screens. Kids were eager to ice saw like crazy, but soon were handing off the saws to each other after feeling the burns in their biceps. Upon cutting the holes, our Clam Spearfishers were erected and students deployed the decoys and live suckers. Students were prepared in the class prior to arriving and knew where to aim and how to send the spear into the water. As I was outside banking in the house, screams of excitement were coming out of one house, as the first pike entered the hole. Carter drew the first try, and struck the pike. He was immediately an Instragam hero as the video of the event was uploaded as the fish was still breathing. More fish entered the hole and more first fish were speared by the anglers. The thrill of the hunt was on as the pike took center stage for the underwater circus.
All in all, it was a great experience for the students. Many first fish were speared and anglers learned how to properly pick a location, cut a hole, set up a house, deploy lines, and spear fish. Lifelong spear fishermen were made on this day! Spartan Angling is always in need of angler gear, especially spearing equipment. Please see our website for more of what we do and how to donate to the program. Our website is www.spartanangling.com and the contact is Luke Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org or 218.969.5517. We make slimy memories for kids!
Great fishing trips on LOTW!
Spartan Angling did a trip to High Banks Resort. A huge Thank you to Kim @ High Banks for a great day angling! We kept seeing a huge muskie lurking around and an albino eel pout! Crazy!
Lake of the Woods, Ice Fishing! Students spent the night at Border View Lodge and fished in rental houses and slayed walleye and sauger. Many kids had their first ride in a bombardier and first trip to Lake of the Woods! Memories were made!