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sportsHeadlinesBoys basketball: Osakis still going after fending off Warroad Boys basketball: Trojans take semifinals in overtime over Panthers Boys basketball: Trojans take semifinals in overtime over PanthersState hockey: Cardinals reflect on historic run that ends in second placeState hockey: Cardinals dethrone the Hawks as a state title sits a win awaylifeHeadlinesAlexandria Area Community CalendarThe day Curt Felt diedBonding over booksToys for Kids reaches 165 childrenWhat would Mr. Fitzgerald think?outdoorsHeadlinesIce more complex than just frozen waterMorken: Plans for 2018 season come into focusMike Frisch: A one two punch for perchNortheast Minnesota moose population remains low but stableIs feeding the ducks helping or hurting them?opinionHeadlinesOUR TURN: Driving in the snow: What if? LETTER: Food program is vital for rural areas LETTER: A look into Southern Poverty Law CenterTHUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWNCapitol Chatter: Service animal owners want protection against fakescountryHeadlinesExtension schedules land rent meeting for farmers, landownersManaging boxelder bugs as the cold sets in Step away from that pruning saw!Going far with 4 H horsesCounty crafting buffer compliance rulesbusinessHeadlinesSmile Drive aims to improve dental healthBrand specialist to speakHeartland near top for knee replacementA home away from home: Home based businesses invited to take part in Chamber networking event Senior Center serves Scandinavian mealAlexandria’s Jim Dresch was ice fishing with his good friend, Roger Van Surksum, a couple years ago when Van Surksum latched into a nice crappie.

He worked the fish up to the hole before his chair went flying. Crappies are known for their paper thin mouths, and this one did not quite make it out of the hole. Van Surksum, 70, shot to his knees in an attempt to grab it in the water before it could get away. No luck.

“I looked at Roger and said, ‘That one sounded like it hurt,’ ” Dresch said.

It was not long after that when the two were fishing together again, this time with another one of Van Surksum’s friends also along.

“We had five, six, seven in the pail, but he’s over here in this corner and hasn’t gotten one yet,” Dresch said. “Pretty soon,
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he had a real nice one. I was so happy for him until it got right to the top of the hole, and it was gone. I was just looking at that hole thinking it sure would be nice if that hole would just shut when the fish is in.”

Over the years, Dresch had seen too many fish get to the top of the hole in his house only to swim free. Crappies, walleyes, northerns any aggressive fighting fish has a tendency to do that every once in a while before an angler can get it in their grasp.

Dresch eventually acted on a plan to fix that. It led to what he refers to as the ice fisherman’s landing net.

Grandpa Jimmy’s Ice Hole Trap, as he named it, has a shaft that is adjustable to fit the depth of the ice with heavy duty parachute cord that attaches to a bottom plate and a foot lever. The trap is easily mounted to the bottom of a fish house. Once the fish is through the bottom of the hole, stepping on the lever closes the plate and keeps the fish from getting free should it spit the lure.

Dresch made his first one at the end of February 2016. He and Van Surksum tested it together the rest of that winter fishing season and discovered that it saved them quite a few fish.

“It’s everybody’s dream to make some money fishing and hunting, but very few people do it,” Dresch said. “I had no intention of starting a business, but I thought, ‘this is really neat.’ I talked to a couple people and they wanted one, and another wanted one.”

Dresch quickly had a lawyer run a patent search.

“Nothing came up,” Dresch said. “I’ve been fishing my whole life. I had never seen it, so I said let’s go ahead and patent it.”

Dresch has a provisional patent on the product that protects him for one year as he seels a non provisional patent that lasts longer.
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