When the weather starts to heat up, usually the bite for most species of fish slows down but that is not the case for muskies. Now I am not a seasoned musky pro by any means but I do enjoy chasing them - although I don't get a lot of time to do it. Most people think it is too costly to get into chasing these toothy fish. That really is not true. But once you get hooked, you will probably go overboard with lures. You really only need a few things to get started. If you already have a good heavy pike rod, that will work.
Last weekend it was time again to fish the Midwest Outdoors Unlimited tournament to raise money for disabled veteran programs. Andre Schaum and I along with angler Cody Wicks would team up again to see if we could back up our win last year. With storms rolling through all day we were hoping the storms didn't upset the fishing and we wouldn't have to run from any lightning. Cody did end up catching some pike, enough for sixth place but we couldn't pull off a win this year. We had to come in an hour early because the radar was looking pretty bad.
You could sure tell it was Independence Day in the lakes area. With the traffic in town being bumper to bumper, there was no way I wanted to try to fish. It was a weekend to give the lakes to the pleasure boaters and jet skiers. With a lot of walleye anglers from the area going to Leech Lake, that kind of shows how the bite has been around Brainerd. Which brings me back to my quest to find out what's up with Gull Lake. I hear the tourism in the area is above average, which we can tell by how busy town is. But after days of fishing and no fish, are they coming back?
I was never really into sports when I was in school. But we never had a fishing team. How cool would that have been? That is what I was thinking when I was asked to take out two anglers on Sunday for the Brainerd Warrior Fishing Team. We were instructed that we could not change lures or get out tangles. We were allowed to drive the boat and net fish. And let me tell you it is pretty hard not fishing and just driving the boat. There was a total of 62 anglers and 31 guides that volunteered for this event.
Well it seems the weatherman was wrong again. The forecast for last weekend was for showers and occasional storms for Saturday and Sunday. We only had a light rain for a bit on Saturday morning. I know we can fish in the rain, but when so much goes into an event like the Nick Adams Fishing Classic it is nice to have the weather cooperate. I have to say it was a great turnout, we had some new guides from the area and from the metro and Park Rapids area. The fish even bit. Well, except the walleyes, but that is a discussion for another time.
It's that time of year again when 150 plus anglers take to Gull Lake for the Camp Confidence Fishing Classic. And that means it's also Father's Day and if you need a few ideas on what to get the outdoorsman in your family here are a few ideas - they are things that I have used in the past year and work very well. First is an inflatable life jacket. There are many models from manual to automatic and even one you can wear on your belt. With their design you don't even know you are wearing one.
Last week I was lucky enough to be chosen to be one of the 80 or so fishermen to guide for the Trolling for the Troops event put on by Camp Ripley. All I can say is it just gets better, the fishing, the conversation and the company all came together again this year. Although Mille Lacs was a little choppy in the morning. And by choppy I mean I felt sorry for the guys in bass boats. We decided to save our backs and drive around to the north side so we wouldn't have to pound the waves as much. After a quick stop at Tutt's Bait we were on the water.
After spending pretty much all week on Gull Lake, I figured it would be a good topic for this week. First was the Minnesota Fishing Challenge. The walleye bite was tough to say the least, with only a few lucky anglers finding a couple. No one really got on a good bite or pattern. Even Al Linder only got three bites all day, although it was enough to win the walleye division. Then we have had guide trips on Gull the rest of the week. Although there is a night bite pulling Rapalas in the shallows, it was a tough day bite. So the question is why?
It's always fun to write about all the things I get to experience in the outdoors. I love everything about it, even the weather doesn't usually slow me down. But there is one thing that does keep me from going in the woods as much as I used to. I'm talking about deer ticks. Yes, I still go turkey hunting and mushroom picking but I cut down on things like working on food plots and just exploring. Last week after finding some morels I came home and did the usual tick check and found a bunch. But then sure enough a few days later I found one buried in with a nice red ring around it.
Usually when Camp Ripley is busy with thousands of people it's troops training or law enforcement learning new procedures. But last weekend it was hosting the Ripley Rendezvous. Put on by the Boy Scouts of America, there was a lot of things to do for the 4,000-plus Scouts attending. Myself, Jeremy Smith and Ryan Dechaine were there from Brainerd; as well as fisherman from all over Minnesota; and, of course, Col. Scott St. Sauver was there with his freshly wrapped DAV Ranger Boat. We were all there to help out with a kids fishing program called Future Angler program.