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Articles written by Bret Baker

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 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    October 18, 2019 

OUTDOORS: For anglers, these are the good old days

Since the start of the 2019 fishing season on the St. Louis River in May, I’ve been fortunate enough to spend roughly 75 days on the streams, rivers, reservoirs and lakes in the region. I’ve...

 

Monster muskie is a Vermilion treasure

I had my article for this week almost completely written when I got a short and simple text from my oldest brother, Bob, on Saturday night. His wife Julie had boated a monster muskie. Exciting, for...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    October 4, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Moose whisperer works his magic

I was heading back down the Gunflint Trail from a full day of guiding on Lake Saganaga, or Big Sag as the locals refer to it. I had a young couple from the Cities who were excited about the cooler of...

 

Pine Knot Outdoors: Dallying is no option under a revered Harvest Moon

I stood parallel to the Cloquet goal line cheering on the hometown Lumberjacks football team Friday night under the lights of Bromberg Field. The moon struggled to break through the thick white...

 

OUTDOORS: Make safe decisions as we head into hunting seasons

My phone rang just late enough to make me nervous that something was wrong. I was right. My brother, Bruce, had fallen from his deer stand. He was in the emergency room. My heart raced. My mind...

 

Pine Knot Outdoors: Fishing for the gold, silver and bronze

Back to reality. The Baker household held tightly onto summer for as long as possible. But with two kids in middle school, one in high school, another off to college, and both parents teaching,...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    August 30, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Quest for the big bite requires lots of adjustments

I have a little secret my wife and kids already know. Sometimes, I have no idea what I'm doing. The last couple of weeks on the water, I've been making it up as I go. Some trips have worked out,...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    August 23, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Tales of the cattail harvest

My wife, Jamie, loves to put her fall decorations out at the first sign of autumn. A couple of cold mornings triggers her to journey to the recesses of our basement in search of her stash of...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    August 16, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Reflections on fishing from the baseball diamond

We loaded the Suburban with most of the Baker crew plus an omnipresent extra child, and headed north. The big blue Lund stared back at us in confusion as we pulled away — it would remain unhitched f...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    August 9, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: 'Crappie Keith' lives up to his name

The fog rolled across the surface of the water as we slid Keith Nelson's Alumacraft into the coffee-colored waters of Big Sandy Lake. I relegated myself to the back deck of his boat. I was here to...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    August 2, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Tournament tension

Stretching out in front of us, dozens of boats jostled for position, awaiting blastoff. My oldest son, Joseph, and I tucked into the back of the pack; based on the 200-300 horsepower motors...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 26, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Reservoir hogs are calling

Over the years I've fished them all. Collectively referred to as the "big four" reservoirs north of Duluth, they include Wild Rice, Fish, Island and Boulder. They all have their own personalities, and...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 19, 2019

PINE KNOT OUTDOORS: Change it up and find some fish

The freshly fried walleyes had barely hit the cake pan when they were scooped up by the masses gathered around our picnic table. A Baker fish fry was in full swing. In all, 25 friends and family...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 12, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Waxworm trip leads to a tall tale

The week started with a real emergency around the Baker household. Phoenix, our resident gecko, was out of food. Normally, we would run to Duluth and pick him up some crickets or tasty mealworms. It...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 5, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: Food, fun, action lure kids to the water

Our anchor tethered us to the rocks below. The current ripped underneath our bow and poured out the backside of the Lund. I threaded half a crawler onto my orange jig and plopped it over the transom....

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 28, 2019

Pine Knot Outdoors: As seasons turn, so does the bite

I half-walked, half-skipped to my truck. I had just polished off my second week of teaching summer school. Much like the fish I’ve been chasing, I’m transitioning to my summer pattern. In the...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 21, 2019

Outdoors: It's a road trip success story

Jamie and Hannah are long gone. Barcelona or maybe Madrid by now? David has been shipped off to Gunflint for some one-on-one time with Gramma and Grampa. It is mid-morning and the Baker crew still at...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 14, 2019

The dump run

The summer after my sophomore year of high school I packed up and headed north. I would spend my summer break along the south shore of Gunflint lake as a “dock boy” for the Kerfoot family at... Full story

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 7, 2019

Here's how to get into the weeds and on to fish

Bass, pike, muskies, walleyes, crappies, bluegills, and perch all spend a good portion of the early summer period buried in the weeds. Arguably, more game fish congregate in emerging weed beds than...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 31, 2019

Finding success while fishing in the dark

The sun had just dipped below the horizon when my rod doubled over. For the last half hour before sunset, we had battled several northern pike, but instinctively I knew this was our first walleye....

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 24, 2019

A tale of a reluctant trapper

Jamie startled me awake in the middle of the night. She nonchalantly informed me, “You have something in your trap.” We peered shoulder-to-shoulder into the backyard. The moon illuminated a...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 17, 2019

Follow the code to enjoy fishing

Minnesota fishing opener morning, my son Joseph and I arrived at Boy Scout Landing on the St. Louis River just past 5 a.m. The lower parking lot was already packed. We pulled in and found ourselves...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 10, 2019

Opener can be a zoo

If you want peace and quiet, wait till Monday. Minnesota’s fishing opener congregates more fishermen per square acre than any other time of year on productive post-spawn walleye locations...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 3, 2019

Angling 101

The feedback I receive on my angling articles covers the spectrum. Most people appreciate my stories along with the technical information I share. Others enjoy my articles, but the minutiae of...

 
 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    April 19, 2019

Folsom Prison turkeys

Johnny Cash startled me awake. My eyes tried to adjust to the ray of light pouring onto the ceiling. Sometime during the night, my phone had fallen halfway under the bed, adding to my confusion. "I...

 

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