Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States

Minnesota - September 2020

For my annual out-of-state trip in 2020, I chose lake sturgeon on the St. Croix River with Darren Troseth of 3 Rivers Fishing Adventures (  Darren has a phenomenal track record of catching trophies and even holds the Minnesota state record for lake sturgeon.


The night was cold by Virginia September standards, though Darren didn't even have his winter coat on, and the bite was slow.  However, Darren's expertise paid off and within a few hours I had my first Minnesota trophy, a 55.5-inch lake sturgeon with a 20-inch girth, estimated to be 41 pounds.


The next night greeted us with thunderstorms and hail and got even colder than the first night.  The fish only bit about once per hour, but they were some impressive fish.  My first fish was a 55-inch by 20-inch trophy with an estimated weight of 40 pounds.  The next fish was smaller but still would likely have been a trophy by weight.  The third fish was truly amazing:  a massive 68.5-inch by 26-inch trophy with an estimated weight of 81 pounds.  This fish fought harder than any fish I've caught in recent memory, even on 80-pound braid.  It was also the biggest fish ever caught on one of Darren's guided trips.  Lake sturgeon that size are about 50 years old.  I finished off the night with another trophy (54.5 inches) and three fish between 40 and 45 inches.


The four trophies by length (and one by weight) meant that Minnesota became the 39th state in which I have caught at least one trophy.  In all, it was a fantastic experience with an excellent guide, and I am excited to go back sometime down the road.

The St. Croix River

My first fish from night two and my second Minnesota trophy:  55" x 20" with an estimated weight of 40 pounds

My biggest Minnesota trophy and the largest fish ever caught on Darren's boat on a guided trip:  68.5" x 26" with an estimated weight of 81 pounds

My first Minnesota trophy:  55.5" x 20" with an estimated weight of 41 pounds

47" x 15" with an estimated weight of 22 pounds, which would have been a trophy by weight

This trophy was even longer than the width of Darren's deck!

My last Minnesota trophy:  54.5" x 19" with an estimated weight of 38 pounds