As we are wrapping up the month of July that usually means some hot weather and for us a trip to the cabin to do some blueberry gathering. Last year, there wasn't a very good crop but this season is really on the good side. We filled our buckets and even had some bonus raspberries and a few wild strawberries.
I guess there is no easy way to say it, but I think the world is getting a little crazy these days. Crazy things on the streets and flooding all around us and that's not even what I'm talking about. Things a little closer to home are not right. First of all Mille Lacs Lake, either the state is trying to bankrupt the businesses around the lake or I believe someone really screwed up and will not step up and admit they are wrong. On several recent trips to the lake it is quite obvious that it is hands down the best fishing for miles.
Since it's the Fourth of July and there isn't much to talk about this week for fishing, I thought I would take this opportunity to thank some very special organizations who put a lot of faith in me. Some of you might have noticed my American flag/military wrapped truck running around or at the boat ramp. The VSOs who include DAV, American Legion, VFW and many more asked me to team up with them to spread the word on all the veterans programs out there that give opportunities to many outdoor programs.
The weather could not have been better last Saturday for Confidence Learning Center's 33rd Fishing Classic tournament. With the golfers on Friday getting a little wet, the fishermen definitely got the better day. I'm sure there is a golf joke there but I'll leave that one alone. This year my fishing partner was good friend Bob Hanson, one of the pro's that back when I was starting to fish walleye tournaments was always willing to share some advice. So I was pretty excited to be able to spend the day reminiscing and hopefully catching fish.
Last Sunday the Brainerd Warrior fishing team had a full field on Crosslake. As I drove to the access through downpours, hail and lightning I had to wonder what the day would bring. I had my fishermen in the boat and we were waiting for take off after a brief meeting at Moonlight Bay. It would be a learning day for our boat since none had fished the lake before.
Last week I was lucky enough to guide on Mille Lacs for the Trolling for the Troops event held at Camp Ripley. The event started on Thursday afternoon at camp where we got to meet our veteran anglers and have dinner where we got to see old friends and meet some new ones. Some of the guides go to the Mississippi River in search of smallmouth bass and we would be hitting the waters of the big pond.
For the first time ever, I got to experience Ely in the summer, and what a great reason to go there. It was the 50th annual Veterans with Disabilities fishing trip and I was asked to come up and guide. The event started Monday with veterans from all over the country coming to Veterans on the Lake Resort to get some time in the boat seat. Although catching fish is just a bonus, they say, we did have to get enough for the fish fry Wednesday night so we were all excited to get on the water early Tuesday morning.
Have you ever had a decision that seemed really easy to make? Well that's what my opener was like. With cold and windy conditions, I decided I had all summer to fish and would spend the weekend turkey hunting or trying to find a few last morel mushrooms. And with most of the fishing reports sounding poor, it is a decision I feel pretty right about.
It is that time of year again, a weekend many Minnesotans hold as sacred as Christmas or the Fourth of July. The fishing opener can also be one of those make-it-or-break-it days on the water with Mother Nature usually throwing a wrench in the plans. Over the past years we have had everything from snow to beautiful sunny days. But the cold ones are normally better fishing for me, so this year should be pretty good. With a decent forecast of around freezing in the early morning hours to 50 for a high it should be a great weekend.
It only takes a second for things to go your way. It can be hunting, fishing or related to pretty much anything. On this occasion it was turkey hunting. My wife decided that she would like to try it this year and with the first season of over-the-counter licenses available, timing was perfect. The night before we were going out, I checked a few spots where I had gotten or at least spotted a few birds. After a little scouting we had a couple spots but nothing that was great.