Ride the Wave of CTL

By Nick Simonson In the heat of the June sun, the wave of noise sounding up and down the cement walkway at the Alexandria shooting park sounds surreal.  It’s a constant roll of bap-bap-bap-boom-boom-bap-bap-bap as the surge of shotgun blasts, muffled by earplugs, rolls by a person’s vantage point during the Minnesota State High School…

Respotting a Spot-on-a-Spot

By Nick Simonson No location in the outdoors is quite as legendary as the spot-on-a-spot. You know the place, it’s that one big boulder on a reef, the rock pile in a mud-bottom reservoir, or that place on the sunken hump that just has a heavier summer weedbed that hangs on all winter and holds…

The On-Ice Odd Couple

By Nick Simonson Fishing – and particularly ice fishing – is a fun amalgamation of old and new, fast and slow, low-tech and cutting edge.  From new-age augers that run on lithium ion batteries like an on-ice Tesla, to tip-up models that have stood the test of time and continue to be top sellers, the…

Top Spoon Tactics

By Nick Simonson Lift-fall-pause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-paaaaause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-paaaaaaaause-jiggle.  Nothing. Lift-fall-WHAM! Fish On! It’s hard to tell exactly what part of a spoon jigging sequence, and the slight adjustments worked in, that will set a fish off.  Sometimes, they’ll rise right up and smack that shiny piece of metal as it makes its way down from…

Ice Conditions Remain Challenging in Early Season

By Nick Simonson With recent winds and warm temperatures, what ice was formed by the cold start to November has disappeared in most parts of the state in December, leaving anglers uncertain as to many bodies of water.  From Devils Lake to Lake Sakakawea and other points in between, it’s a mixed bag of ice…

Tip-Up Tactics for Pike

By Nick Simonson Upon my return to North Dakota, while sorting through bins, chests and buckets full of odds and ends from the move, I found a black mesh cylinder with a zipper top. I opened it and turned it over, and three orange tip-ups slid out of the container, each still with leaders and…

Shift In Weather Gives Time to Assess Ice Safety

By Nick Simonson With Thanksgiving Day temperatures touching 70, and much of the region forecast to be well above average for the next few days with both highs and lows above freezing, hardwater anglers will have to wait it out for good ice, after many experienced a successful first foray following a cold start to…

A Warden’s Perspective on a Changing Landscape

By Nick Simonson For North Dakota Game & Fish Department (NDG&F) District Game Warden Corey Erck of Bismarck, the job of patrolling, investigating and assisting hunters and anglers throughout his area is an extension of his love of hunting, fishing and the outdoors.  The job, and the gear that goes with it, along with outdoors…

Starting a CTL Team – Part 3, Recruitment & Readiness

By Nick Simonson With community support and the green light from the affiliated high school, the real fun of setting up a North Dakota State High School Clay Target League (ND CTL) team begins.  Beyond the point-and-click and fill-in-the-blank processes of getting started at the ND CTL website, there are a number of tasks to…

Fall Advisory Board Meetings Set

NDG&F Press Release Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department fall advisory board meeting in their area. These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel. The governor appoints…

History of the Half Day

By Nick Simonson Like most states in the upper Midwest, North Dakota’s firearms deer season is designed to span the most likely stretch of the rutting period, which usually happens during the month of November.  However, unlike a lot of those states, North Dakota’s season is 16-and-a-half-days long.  In Minnesota, the season is 16 days,…

Starting a CTL Team – Part 2, School Sponsorship

By Nick Simonson With the funding and conservation club support in place to start a Clay Target League (See Part 1 of this Series) team for youth in your area, the next task in our series can often seem to be the most challenging.  Whether it’s concerns with public presentation, or not being able to…