What is the Winter Shore casting clinic?
This clinic is aimed at teaching anglers the fundamentals of shore casting the breaks, beaches and shore-structure of Minnesota's Lake Superior. The clinic focuses on steelhead and kamloops rainbow trout, but will also touch on some other available species such as coho salmon.
Due to unpredictable weather, the clinic will be conducted indoors. PLEASE PLAN ON ARRIVING 10-15 MINUTES BEFORE THE CLINIC START TIME SO WE CAN GET YOU CHECKED IN. We will cover everything you will need to know to get started on your next adventure. All participants are encouraged to bring their fishing gear. If weather permits, anglers can put their new skills to the test after the clinic; the lake will only be a snowball-throw away.
What will you learn?
Our volunteer instructors will teach techniques we have learned over the years to effectively target steelhead and kamploops during the winter shore-casting months. Much of what you will learn can also be applied when fishing during the spring, summer and fall seasons as well.
Our main angling approach at this clinic will focus on the use of spinning rods, reels, and terminal tackle. We will teach you the various set-ups that work for us, demonstrate how to rig them and what terminal tackle you will need. We will cover several different types of lures and when and how to fish them, the types of bait used and how best to fish in a variety of conditions. We cover cold weather gear basics, additional fishing accessories, and some safety tips to keep your day dry and productive.
We also teach you how to best select productive fishing locations, covering what key things to look for and what areas to stay away from. Minnesota has approximately 150 miles of Lake Superior shoreline and most but not all is accessible to anglers. We focus on the good stuff!
IMPORTANT: Safety first if planning to fish
Though this clinic is an indoor classroom setting, we anticipate that many of you will be eager to head out fishing immediately afterwards - can't blame you. For those that do we strongly recommend practicing SAFETY FIRST. No fish is worth injury. Stay away from ice covered rocks, dangerous break walls, and, in the event of lake ice, keep off the lake. Proper footwear is a must.
What will you need to bring?
For the classroom you will only need your morning beverage. We plan to have a detailed handout for each angler, so note taking can be kept at a minimum. We recommend the following if you plan to fish after the clinic: First and foremost, bring a positive attitude. You will also need to supply yourself with your own fishing equipment (rod, reel, line, lures, bait, etc.). We also strongly suggest ice cleats, a net, polarized glasses and a camera. See below for a general list of suggested equipment.
Who can attend?
This clinic is open to all anglers looking to get an introduction to Lake Superior shore-casting. Though our clinic will only be a classroom setting, some of our volunteer instructors will likely be angling and will surely offer up conversation and answer any questions. Our program instructors strongly encourage women and Parent/child pairs to participate in the clinic. Children must register and attend with an adult to participate. What you will learn here can easily be applied to comfortable spring, summer and fall fishing as well.
What does this cost?
There is no cost for this event, but we humbly suggest a minimum donation. Our volunteer staff is donating their time and talents to teach during this wonderful clinic. All donations received for our events and clinics go right back into funding future educational programs, community events, habitat projects and to further our conservation mission. This clinic continues on because of your generosity.
15 and under - open donation
Students - $15.00 min. suggested donation
Adults - $25 min. suggested donation
- Spinning Rod: 7' to 12' medium or med. light action. Longer rods will provide longer casts
- Spinning reel: sized well for 200+ yrds of 5 - 6lb monofilament
- Monofilament: 5lb - 6lb test (not braid or fluorocarbon) for mainline
- Long Handle Net: Needed to reach the icy waters
- Bobbers: 1/4oz - 3/4oz weighted bobbers, Marine General in Duluth is a great source for these specialized shore-fishing floats as well as looper bugs and bait
- Terminal Tackle: A selection of 3/8ths to 1/2oz. maribou jigs or looper bugs in blacks, browns and olive. Size 6 or 8 octopus-style hooks and a variety of split shot
- Bait: Butterworms, waxies, crawlers (+ inflator) and/or floating spawnbags will have you set to fish!
What makes shore fishing easy is most anglers already have much of what is used. Again, these are suggested items. You can fish with a shorter rod, heavier monofilament, other jigs, lures and live bait. Our clinic will go into details why we recommend what we do. This is a great opportunity for beginning anglers or those interested in open water winter fishing.