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vince

Minnesota Fishing Museum

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My father was an avid winter spearer. When I was young, that was all we did on weekends in the winter, and I loved it. We used portables, we used permanents. We chopped holes, we chainsawed holes, we augered and then chopped holes and we even had an old ice saw that we used. We decided that none of the ways were easy, so we just traded off back and forth when we got tired. When I was little, we would sit together and he would let me spear the little ones and he the big ones. He never did spear a fish when we sat together. The one I remember the most was the fish that swam right down the middle of the hole from underneath us. It was big! I looked at him and he looked at me and neither of us picked up the spear! He asked my why I didn't spear it and I said it was big!! I asked him how big was it and he said about 10 pounds. I couldn't stop crying and he just smiled. I was in the 6th grade.

After I grew up and moved out I started to angle more, but would occasionally sit with him in his spearhouse and we would talk. He loved to be in that house. When he died at 81 three years ago, the first thing I did when I got to the house was to claim his favorite decoy, the "shark". Fish really liked that decoy. Last winter I told my Mom I wanted to go spearing again, using his old homemade portable and all his other stuff.

I went out once, saw a couple little ones and shed some tears. What wonderful memories.

Recently I saw a Kent Hrbek show about the Minnesota Fishing Museum in Little Falls. I found their HSOforum and saw they wanted donations. I called my Mom and said I'd like to donate his spear, chisel and some decoys(but not the shark!). She was excited about the idea. We went there yesterday and spent a couple hours looking at things. We left feeling great knowing the things that meant so much to him are now part of this museum. If you are ever near Little Falls, I urge you to stop at the Minnesota Fishing Museum. It is a great place and spearing is a great sport!

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Great Stuff Vince. These are the times that you are never going to forget in your lifetime.

Thanks for sharing that with all of us.

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I was just there last Saturday. There was a wedding at the catholic church next door, so I dropped in. Snapped a bunch of photos. The gal at the front desk was super friendly and helpful.

I also saw the KHO show that ran recently.

Lots of great history in this state so I hope future generations will help in preserving it. Lots of master carvers have donated decoys to the museum.

I would urge anyone that heads through Little Falls to drop in. It's only $4 for admission and you can easily look around for an hour. Any other museum would be a lot more. Those staff folks aren't getting paid at those prices. Just the upkeep and building have to be more than $4 a head admission. What a great place, great tradition, and great idea.

Thanks for sharing those memories Vince.

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thanks for donating your memories so that we can all look at them and imagine what it was like to use that equipmemt. Now when I visit the museum Ill think even harder about the people who used it and the memories thet created.

Sounds like your dad left a wonderful estate of memories for his kids. Better than money anyday.

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scott, if you dont mind, shoot me a few of the shots. I need to get up there to check it out myself. My wife wants to go as well.

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It's kind of a shame, I live here and never have been there. Always talk about going, but just havn't gone yet.

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I collect fishing lures, and have a pile of old lures made in MN.

Someday if I ever get tired of them...maybe this will be a good resting place for them.

But, I have the feeling I will never get tired of them....

I got a spear from my grandpa with the instructions "You use it now!"

And, I still use it to this day. If I ever loose it...it will be a sad day....

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hammer handle I use my father spear and I love it its about 45-50 yrs old and he told me that him and a freind that was tool maker built it they built three of them and my dads is the last one around. I like it so much that I am going to build several so that I can retire my dads and my kids can have one like grndpas.

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I finally made it to the museum. My wife and I went there yesterday. I donated a few decoys, and looked around for a while. There is even a spearing video to watch that was made by Dennis Burtram. It shows him setting up and spearing a couple northerns. Watching that just stoked the fire a little more. Come on ice, HURRY UP! smile

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