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adludwig's picture
Hello, I wanted to introduce myself, as I have been a longtime lurker on these pages, but finally created an account. First off, I wanted to thank the many people that have provided so much information that I have gleaned off the last year. My son and I set out with the ambitious plans of trying to catch a fish in all 87 counties in Minnesota at the beginning of 2021. We currently are just 3 counties away from finishing this goal. We're up to 46 different species of fish on the year, and have had so many amazing adventures. Before this year, I had never microfished, or even heard of it! Now, we've caught Logperch in 4 different counties, and just last week caught our first Blackside Darter. We've fallen in love with the Minnesota River, with all the species found there, like Shortnose Gar, Smallmouth Buffalo, and Channel Catfish everywhere we stop! We discovered the amazing Trout fisheries found in SE Minnesota, and have some enjoyable days on the Zumbro, Root, and many other great waters. I could go on and on... I have a few questions... Do any lifelisters track their catches at the county level? I've birdwatched for years, and track which species I seen in specific counties. Just wondering if that lunacy exists among fish listers. I'm tracking everything this year on INaturalist, a messy map, and a very large spreadsheet. I'll plan on updating you all as we near the finish line. After we're done, we'll spend the rest of the year trying to catch new species and going back to counties we only registered a single species. Thanks for having me!
Corey's picture
County Tracking

I haven't heard of anyone tracking their catches at the county level, but I think it's a cool thing to try. The county biological survey certainly tracks fish occurances at that level - it would be cool to check up against it to see if you have any catches thatthey are missing!



Tyler W
Tyler W's picture
New levels of lunacy

I think you will find us very supportive of your new levels of lunacy. 

I mentally track which species I have caught with angling gear vs survey gear. For example, I have caught blue suckers and long nose sucker with electrofishing gear, but not angling. 


I life having a life list, but I only really track my "midwest" species. But, adding new species to the list isn't the main reason I fish "rough". I really like learning about a species or a fishery. For example, I tried and failed to catch a bigmouth buffalo for years. Then I found them basically in my backyard and caught one. That launched me down a road of really learning about bigmouth buffalo and what makes them tick. I'll go check on the buffs to see if they are active and note the conditions (water level, temp, wind, etc). 


I also have a thing for all types of redhorse. But, I won't pass up a chance to catch any rough fish! I'll master the other species when I have time. 

TonyS's picture

I've never kept track at the county level but that is an interesting thought.  I do keep track at the state level and I keep separate lists for certain specific waterbodies that I'm particularly attached to

Eric Kol
Eric Kol's picture
that's rad!

love the county list, what a great way to organize an effort. What has been you favorite and least favorite counties tio fish in?

Carpy Diem!

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
Welcome!  Per your question

Welcome!  Per your question about lifelisters organizing by county, I do that.  I live in Virginia, where we have 95 counties and 38 independent cities that are surrounded by but legally not part of one or more counties.  I've caught fish in 23 counties and 6 independent cities.  I've caught lifers in about half of the counties and all 6 cities.

Counties:  Dickenson*, Buchanan, Russell, Scott*, Washington, Tazewell*, Wise*, Giles*, Montgomery*, Craig, Roanoke*, Franklin, Henry*, Floyd, Halifax, Pittsylvania, Botetourt, Bedford, Campbell*, Nelson, Albemarle, Page, Rockbridge

Cities:  Roanoke*, Salem*, Norton*, Bristol*, Virginia Beach*, Lexington*

*caught at least one lifer at some point since I started keeping track in 2011


I find it to be a pretty fun way to challenge yourself to figure out a lifer you can target anywhere you travel.  I've got some targets in mind for Appomattox, Prince Edward, Lee, Fairfax, Pulaski, & Wythe County for 2022.




Let there be fire!

adludwig's picture
Favorite / Least Favorite

Favorite has got to be one of the Minnesota River counties, like Renville and Redwood. So many places to fish and such a great variety. Least favorite would be in the southwest, like Jackson and Martin. Didn't spend a ton of time down there, and it was Bullhead City everywhere we fished.

Beverly riffles
Now I hate myself. Two years

Now I hate myself. Two years ago in the winter I came up with the concept I called Fish 99. We have 99 counties in Iowa . I have been though most of them at some time in my 58 years of driving. I used a county conservation park book, DNR fishing guide and with a roadmap figured out about 12 or 15 sections of the state where I could hit multiple counties per trip. Then covid came along and I had other family commitments that have kept me pretty close to home. I have fished for pleasure during the past two years but not for "accomplishment". So my hat is off to all you guys out there "doing it". Getting my house in order after last year's derecho here in Eastern Iowa has take quite a bit of my time. I'll be 74 in December and really hope next year will be my breakout year. Might even get my neglected boat out of mothballs. If I get going on this I'll post how I'm doing. I love catching redhorse, suckers, especially channel and flathead cats, smallmouth and white bass. Have caught my share over the past 60 years and have a few more good ones left. I hope.  Thanks for your articles. 


Hi everyone! I am new at this

Hi everyone! I am new at this forum.  

the pyromaniac
the pyromaniac's picture
Hello and welcome!  Where are

Hello and welcome!  Where are you in the world?  Tell us about the fishing you do.




Let there be fire!