GLENWOOD (AP) -- At age 99, Floyd Doty doesn't go fishing with his son Alan twice a week anymore like he used to.
He goes once a week.
Floyd Doty is the oldest licensed Minnesota fisherman, according to a Saint Paul Pioneer Press analysis of Department of Natural Resources records through June 30. But his age has done nothing to limit his passion for the sport or his ability to catch fish.
"It's something we've always done," said Alan Doty, 55. "He still gets some good ones. When we fish, he runs the motor. He does let me put the boat in and out (of the water) now. Although there are times he'll crank it in all the way (to the trailer)."
Floyd Doty said he isn't sure why he began fishing at age 12.
"Somehow I just caught the fishing bug, you might say," he said.
But Alan Doty, a retired teacher who lives in Royalton, a town almost 100 miles away, said fishing has been an integral part of the Doty family for generations.
"My dad's grandfather came to Minnesota after the Civil War from Illinois and settled in Sauk Centre, and they had a house on Sauk Lake," Alan Doty said. "And they certainly went out there and fished.
"I remember many years ago, his dad had moved to California and came back to Minnesota in the last year of his life, and we all went fishing. He would have been 90 at the time."
Floyd Doty said he uses his fishing journeys with his son as a way to spend more time with him. He also has taken other members of his family fishing. His daughter, Lois Maher, 53, who lives in Glenwood, said some of her earliest memories are of her father's fishing trips.
"He used to take us along," Maher said. "We went out as a family to fish."
But Doty's favorite fishing partner was his wife of 63 years, Grace, who occasionally accompanied her husband on his expeditions to nearby lakes. Grace Doty passed away in 1996 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.
"She enjoyed fishing, but she wasn't nuts about it like I was," said Doty, a retired farmer from Nashua.
When he's not fishing, Doty is the resident manager of Ridgewood Villa, opening the retirement community in the morning and making sure all the doors are locked at night. He still does small repairs for fellow tenants.
And he still tells fishing stories. And he should have many since he has fished through the Great Depression, four major wars, and 12 U.S. presidents.
He remembers a calm day on Ten Mile Lake in 1930. It seemed as if there wouldn't be any catches until one fish finally bit.
"It was a big one," Doty said. "It was a 20-pound northern, and we practically forced the thing up the shore."
The fish now hangs on his wall with
Doty said the most success he had catching fish was last fall, when he and Alan went fishing at Pelican Lake and caught 14 bass. However, Doty said their success was short-lived.
"We had to throw them back, because bass season didn't start until the next day," he said. "We broke lines because the fish were so big."
Recently, the oldest fisherman in the state took one of the youngest out on Lake Minnewasca. And great-grandson Justin Towner, 4, caught a 6-pound northern.
"(Justin) wanted to come out fishing with me," Doty said. "So me and Alan took him out, and he caught a fish out in the dock."
Said Alan: "He knew enough to request changing the bait when the fish weren't biting, so he shows lots of promise."
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