Step aside, walleye: Minnesota rough fish certainly have their fans

When it comes to fishing, Minnesotan Justin Watkins is a romantic. He writes poems and short prose about it. He’s a natural-resources professional who cares deeply about healthy watersheds and the fish that inhabit them. And, as something of an adventure-seeking vagabond, he travels hundreds of miles (by air and over the road) to chase big fish with a fly.

But Watkins is different from most state anglers for whom the sainted walleye (among other common, storied game fish) reigns supreme: He has an abiding appreciation for rough fish — a loosely defined class of piscatorial offering often derided as bottom-feeding trash fish. Unfit for human consumption.

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