This year for the Camp Ripley disabled veterans deer hunt I didn't have to pack any orange. Instead the muskie rods were loaded. A new addition to the hunt was offering a lucky group of veterans the chance to hit Lake Alexander for the fall muskie bite. And since I've kind of been in fishing mode it only seemed fitting.
Well, the plan this year has been to concentrate on fishing right up until I leave for Montana elk hunting. And although the guide trips the last few weeks have been pretty good, with the walleyes getting more aggressive every day, I have to say with the smell of fall in the air and the ducks flying it's really hard not to think about throwing the decoys out or chasing grouse. It will all be worth it when I crawl out of the tent that first day of elk season. But I have been getting pretty jealous of all the hunting pics on Facebook lately.
So, as a fishing guide you get to meet a lot of people from all over the country. You get to know all of them a little bit through your conversations in the boat but sometimes you get to be good friends.
The talk of the town this week has been the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Mille Lacs Lake. Once again the top anglers from all over the country are competing for the angler of the year on what has been called the best smallmouth fishery in the nation. And once again the bass guys are hammering the walleyes, but that's a whole other story.
Last week my wife Tammy and I got to be part of an event that we look forward to each year. But this year was just a little more special—not only was it the biggest and best Fishing Has No Boundaries, it was also the 15th year of the event.
Last weekend I got to leave all the action in the Brainerd area for some peace and quiet. It was time once again for the Disabled American Veterans fishing trip at High Banks Resort on Lake Winnibigoshish. Veterans from the Iron Range area filled the resort and guides from all over the state came to donate a few days to ensure everyone had a great time on the water. And with two words I can tell you how the weekend went—mission accomplished.
It's that time of year again when Brainerd gets a little crazy. Yep, it's the Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, and even if you aren't into racing it isn't hard to tell that the population of the area is doubled. For me this time of year is getting to take out some racers from Don Schumacher Racing and it's turning into a tradition more than a fishing trip.
Last weekend was a little more about having fun and a little less about fishing. It was our third annual Superhero Rod Fishing Tournament. This year we had around 60 anglers hitting the waters of the Mississippi River in Brainerd. They were after walleyes, northern, bass and catfish, and of course they were all wanting to go home with a trophy. But you see when you are fishing with a Barbie or Snoopy rod you just can't take yourself too seriously.
What do you do when it's Thursday and you are looking for something different to do for the weekend? Well, you call your buddy Mark Courts who happens to run a salmon boat on Lake Michigan. Luckily due to a cancellation we had the boat for Saturday, so off to Sturgeon Bay we went. After getting to our hotel late we were not looking forward to the 3 a.m. wake up call, but at the same time we were excited to get our first king salmon on the line. Leaving the harbor around 4 a.m. we didn't have to wait long before the fish was hooked up and in the cooler.
Now it's back to reality, which isn't so bad when you live in Brainerd and get to fish all the time. For being midsummer already the bite has been pretty good. The walleyes are actually cooperating and, with bass and pike thrown in the mix, you can have some great days on the water.