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Northern News

NFDA Newsletter


Spearing in Minnesota

Today, Nov.15th is the first day of winter spearing in Minnesota, the result of new legislation. The earliest I can remember having enough ice to spear is Thanksgiving weekend. With all the global warming everyone is talking about you would think the DNR would have pushed the closing date out to March 15th. NFDA member Mike Holmes, President of the Michigan Darkhouse Assoc., reports that Michigan just changed their spearing dates from Jan thru Feb. to beginning Dec.15th through March 15th. Makes sense to me. Michigan also allows the taking of musky by darkhouse spearing. Makes sense to me.

We would like to know the earliest date that members spear this year, and of course the results. Send us your story to the web site at

Fergus Falls Show Results

The first annual UP NPORTH Show at the Fergus Mall was a success. Many members and carvers turned out. While the crowds were steady through the day, sales were a little down for many carvers. Maybe more the result of a new show than the economy.

The contest was a lot of fun. Here are the partial results. Full results can be viewed at the web site. (Many thanks to Sharon Thomas and Paul McNeal for judging)

People’s Choice-Skeets Peterson

Devils River Minnow- Gary Hull

Tiger Muskie – Skeets Peterson

Spawning male Northern Bluegill – Skeets Peterson

Being a new show Fergus was a double points contest. Here are the top points placing to date.

Skeets Peterson -159

Larry Lange -144

Jerry Fuglseth – 144

Ron Hamm – 141

Lloyd Radi -138

Gary Hull – 116

John Peeters – 115

Duane Steinkopf – 102

Rick Whittier – 32

Paul McNeal- 32

Rich Stich -32

Park Rapids Show

The Park Rapids Show is this weekend, Nov. 22nd at the American Legion. Bring the family to this long standing show.

Logo Contest

Anyone wishing to enter the NFDA Clothing Logo contest please email your entries asap or bring along to the Park Rapids Show ( the deadline to enter).


We have now sold enough tickets to break even—so now the real selling begins. If everyone keeps pushing thru the winter we could have a nice fundraiser. It would be real nice to make several thousand dollars. Your help is appreciated and we need it.

MN Fishing Museum

Lee Ann Doucette, Director of the Museum is stepping down after 10 years of invaluable service. What would we have done without you? You will be missed by all.

Also Al Baert, founding member of the museum , will be taking a lesser role after Jan. He will make the Perham Show one of his last official acts.

The Museum will be closed this year from Jan. 1st to April 14th due to high heating costs. If you are a carver and do not have one of your decoys on display at the museum please think about donating a decoy this year.

MN Fishing Museum

304 W Broadway

Little Falls, MN 56345


Web Site – www.,

New- Grand Rapids MN Show

The Fish Decoy and Sporting Collectible Show is Sat.,Jan.31st, 2009 at the Moose Club located on Hwy 169 East. Dealer set up is from 7am to 9 am and the show runs until 4 pm. The show is hosted by the NFDA and the Northern Lakes Chapter of the MDAA.

Dealers can reserve a table with an advance fee of $30.00/each table, by sending checks to: Grand Rapids Show, [PoorWordUsage] Box 265, Perham MN 56573 We hope to see everyone there.


Let’s see if anyone reads the newsletter. I would like some feedback on several ideas that I would like to present to the Board. You can send your feedback and comments to

Idea # 1

This concept goes back to when we originally founded the NFDA. If we raised our membership/banquet fee to $45.00 and then gave you a free membership in the MN MDAA , would this be of interest? By doing this you would get the MN Darkhouse & Fishing News 6 times a year. We could then publish our newsletter in their publication. This would be a win-win for both organizations. Our news and show schedule would go out to thousands more people, and on a more timely basis. We would also give them a more diverse membership base with our members across the country.

The $45.00 breaks down to: $20/NFDA $15/ Banquet $10/ MDAA Membership. This shorts the NFDA $5/ per member in revenue, but we can make up for that with increased banquet attendance and yearly raffle ticket sales.

Makes sense to me, What do you think? Please send feedback.

Idea #2

We all get older and as we get older we seem to exert more effort in bringing youth into the sport of darkhouse spearing and fish decoy carving. Several decoy carving classes are taught in MN Schools. To keep the tradition alive we keep up the effort.

In talking with many of the junior carvers and their parents at last years Gathering in Perham I started to hear much of the same problems coming from many of them. Many kids do not have the equipment to make decoy, or the money for supplies, or even a darkhouse to spear from.

Is it time to start the NFDA FOUNDATION- a non profit dedicated to the youth. A place where they can apply for grants. Instead of sending money we send equipment or supplies. I would think equipment manufacturers and suppliers would be glad to work with us. Makes sense to me.

Of course we would need to establish criteria and policy, and raise money- but nothing happens unless we talk about it first.

What do you think? Please send feedback.

The End

-Gone Fishing

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" Michigan also allows the taking of musky by darkhouse spearing. Makes sense to me."

I strongly disagree with that.

Thanks for the other info, though.

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