The Story of The Stick


It all started one fateful midsummer night on the St. Croix River. Four intrepid roughfishers were night fishing for catfish, and even though the fishing was excellent, one man just kept catching sticks. The others would haul in several big catfish every hour, and then the unlucky angler would get a savage, yanking bite. A fish would strip line off his baitcast reel so fast I swore it was going to start smoking. He would make a powerful hookset - and reel in another stick. It was strange, uncanny, almost paranormal. The fact that we were fishing a barren sand flat with no snags was of no help. He would get good strikes, but a stick would end up on his line every time, and no fish. He went home skunked and dejected.


Thus, The Stick was born. That angler got awarded The Stick for an icon on the message board. He wore it as a badge of honor. But some time later, a different angler had a horrendously awful day of fishing, and told us about it. Everyone agreed that it was stick-worthy. The stick moved from one angler to the next.


Since then, The Stick has been travelling between all the regulars. It is a badge of honor, indicating that you had a really crappy day of fishing and survived it.. But there is a deeper, more mysterious aspect of The Stick, which can now, finally, be told...


Eventually, Andy got The Stick. He didn't really deserve it, but he had gotten skunked at one of our most reliable and productive fishing spots, which is pretty hard to do. As soon as The Stick was gracing his name on the message board, his luck changed. He started hauling in Longnose Gar like a madman. He caught two species of buffalo on the same day! He caught massive carp, pike, white bass, sturgeon - everything! He was unstoppable. I was forced to take the stick away before Andy did permanent damage to the fishery.


And so, The Stick waits for its next victim - a symbol of really bad luck. But maybe, just maybe, The Stick will turn things around for you. If you get The Stick it means you have tried very hard, but failed so horribly that things can only get better from here on out.


So if you've had a really crappy day of fishing, tell us about it. We just might give you The Stick Award. What you do with it is up to you...



Stick Stories from the Deep Past

  • Date: 3/24/2003 7:34:00 AM
  • User: MN bowfin angler
  • Subject: Give me THE STICK :-(
  • Me and a friend fished the Cannon River yesturday using nightcrawlers.  It was slow but we managed to catch a silver redhorse.  It was a bad day though.  First our car got stuck in a muddy rut and it took us 1/2 an our to get it out.  When we finally did got it out of the rut it got bottomed out on a big stump.  It took us another 1/2 hour to get out of that.  Later we decided to go to Cabela's in Owatanna, but when we got there the car broke down.  We had to wait for my friend's dad to come and get us from Red Wing.  I think I deserve the stick for a while.  Hopefully I'll have better luck next time.

  • Date: 4/16/2004 12:01:00 AM
  • User: Loren
  • Subject: Stick brings good luck
  • You guys were right. The stick has brought some profound good luck to me. I should have some pictures of a freakishly big wild koi (yes, wild) that I landed yesterday. Not only did it take me into my backing three times, but it bent my 8 weight fly rod into a horseshoe shape repeatedly! Huge fish! I couldn't get my hand around the base of its tail to try to land it, i had to wade out and around it and herd it into water too shallow for it to escape, then pick it up with both arms. BIG FISH. I should have pics by monday at the latest, they're being developed.

  • Date: 4/28/2004 8:48:00 PM
  • User: BlackDog
  • Subject: Please Pass the Stick
  • I fished the infamous Wirth Park after work today.  I thought that with the wind rippling the water, I'd have a good shot at catching my first carp.  But, I had a hard time seeing the fish, and only knew they were there by the mud clouds they left.  I think I heard one burn rubber as it made tracks for parts unknown.  But, the embarrassment was only made worse by the fact that I DID catch one fish, a dace shorter than my index finger.  I'm pretty sure it was a Large Mouth Dace, as this 2" fish was able to fully swallow a size 12 BH softhackle hares ear.  :-) Actually, I think it was a Black Nose Dace, but there are several types that look very similar.  I put a link to a picture below.Do I get to count this on my life list?

  • Date: 5/27/2003 8:52:00 AM
  • User: Tony
  • Subject: The Stick?  an entry
  • Here is my frustrating fishing story. I spent the weekend in Rockford Illinois visiting my mother in law (that was not the bad part <g>) The carrot held in front of my nose was that she lives a block from the Rock River so I could go fishing with ease. Well, the area near her house was above the dam and just a big, shallow silty mess with no fish to be seen or caught anywhere from the shore spot I had access to. When I was buying my license a guy chatted me up (fisher folk are great) looking for my hot spot but I ended up taking his hotspot instead, below the dam.  Seemed like good advice so I decided to go there instead. I finally had a couple of hours available to go down to the dam but when I got there the access was filled with a bunch of drunk homeless guys, several groups of sketchy looking wasted guys and what could only have been a pimp and his 'girls'. This was all in a dying industrial park and very secluded. I quickly turned my truck around (as a gray bearded crazy guy blocked my way) and went back towards the bridge because the guy said the other side of the river could be good too and not as many people went there. On the way, a cop pulled up along side me and I asked him about the dam.  He kind of laughed and said I was correct on not going down there and said the other side  might be better. When I got there it was MORE secluded and the guys were even a bit meaner looking. I bailed and went to a nice park upstream only to spend a half hour fighting strong current and globs of re-bar and wire on the bottom. Let me also mention that I am a street-wise city boy so my spidey sense going off was legit or at least prudent.I went home and poured a nice stiff drink and read a fishing mag. Is that a suitable entry? Tony


  • Date: 7/3/2003 10:14:00 PM
  • User: John Gaulke
  • Subject: Time for The Stick!!!
  • Finally had "a stick day" on Wed.  Decided at the last minute (the day before) to take a road trip to Chautauqua Lake.  The lake is a top Musky lake in the state and has a pretty good population of Gar as well.  Figured I'd have a good shot at a Musky, then if all else failed it wouldn't be too hard to find a few gar.  Got about an hour and a half of sleep and set out for the THREE AND A HALF HOUR drive!  Was at the lake by 7:15am and on the water by 7:30.  Went to an area to start fishing and within 10 minutes I can hear the annoying mosquito like whine of a couple Jet Skiis.  8 am!!!  Then I see a water skier as well.  Of course one jet ski comes whipping into the bay I was fishing.  Fished the area for over an hour without seeing a fish.  Motored to another area and find boats galore around.  Nothing doing.  Other bays I wanted to fish appeared as though they'd been chemically "treated" to remove vegetation(a common practice on Chautauqua Lake).  Great... :-(  Fished pretty hard most of the day, didn't even see a gar till late.  Finally spot one musky in 2' of water which I spooked with my boat (who'd have thought?)  Finally spot one gar which I spook....Hot weather beating down on me, I finally decide I've had enough by about 3pm.  Get ready to go and find myself about to fall asleep at the wheel within the first 45 minutes of the ride back!  At least I was smart enough to realize I wasn't going to make it, so I found a park and pulled over.  After a half an hour of "shuteye" I hit the road again and finally get home.  What a waste!  Time, sleep, money, energy and gas!  The Fourth of July weekend is NOT a very good time to fish unless you are away from the crowds.  Guess I need a brain refresher every so often...Hope everyone else has a better fishing experience, and at least no one was hurt and I didn't damage anything ;-)  John


  • Date: 8/21/2003 11:39:00 PM
  • User: Corey
  • Subject: No more STICK  for you, Andy
  • Since I gave you The Stick, you've caught 2 nice longnose gar, a 5 pound largemouth, and two giant toxic browns.  You were way too close to catching an eel last night.  No more stick for you.


  • Date: 3/25/2003 8:19:00 AM
  • User: leakywaders
  • Subject: I might need the stick
  • Here's the story:  I get a great opportunity to be mentioned in an article appearing in this Sunday's Star Tribune.  They are even sending a photographer down to take photos of me fishing on Hay Creek.  No problem!  I know exactly where to go to gaurantee some quality photos of me landing some nice wild browns.  Okay, we arrive and a couple of fish are rising, perfect. Then, as I'm tying on a midge emerger, the cameraman walks along the bank, right up to the head of the pool where the fish are rising! Down they go, no fish.  Proceed to fish 5 different spots that almost always give up fish-nothing!!  The water is clear, the sky is bright, and the wind is blowing right into my face.  We decide to try one last spot.  Wow! on the second drift I hook a fish.  Horray!  Turns out to be a brown all of 7 inches long.  Any ego I had has been crushed to bits and washed downstream.  Hello, humility. leakywaders


  • Date: 8/7/2003 10:26:00 PM
  • User: Andy
  • Subject: gimme the stick
  • Yep, I lost a very nice gar right at the net last rig wasn't  ideal, and the stinger was affixed to 6 lb mono...on a musky setup.  He thrashed and completely tore me up, made me feel indequate.  I defnitely deserve The Stick, but I guarantee it won't last for long...GIMME THE DAMN STICK!!!!~andy


  • Date: 8/14/2003 2:38:00 PM
  • User: Andy
  • Subject: my lucky STICK
  • Longnose, 36"......awesome fish.   Since I adopted the STICK, I've landed a five-pound largemouth, several three pounders, plus the gar.  I'm pretty sure Corey will take away my newfound good luck charm, quite possibly to give to himself in an effort to use my stick voodoo on the gar.  Last night we fished Croix down the beach from the mouth 150 yds. or so from the gravelly pont there, but got no gar.  A few clicker runs, plus drum, redhorse and a smallie on crawlers was all the action we had.  Oh, and some turtles including what we believed were False Map Turtles. Oh, and I caught a five-pond northern pike down there on Monday. ~andy




D.T.'s picture

Nice to see ya back.

FishInTheRain's picture

I'm a week too late to apply. Last Sunday, I fished for leopard shark on the incoming tide. Then I went to the Klamath River to fish salmon on the falling tide. I caught nothing at all for the day.

This weekend was more fun because of all the bat rays. But, I still don't have that leopard shark. I see fins in the water, but they're not coming for me.

TonyS's picture

awesome read!  good to see the stick back!

Hengelaar's picture

Can't wait to see who next gets it.

And how...

Fishn sure is neat

Thank you for bringing forth The Stick - it’s time has long been coming.

I look forward to receiving The Stick one day.

All Hail The Stick!

Keep It Simple