It is the eve of the 2016 Minnesota Fishing Opener and the cold front has arrived just in time! I told someone the other day that I think that is God's way of saying that we don't need a "slaughter fest" on opening weekend this year. Everything was "primed" to be that perfect opener as far as the weather and water temperatures leading up to opening weekend—then the cold and wind decide to push on in. That's not enough to discourage the fishermen, women and Lil' Fry though!
CAMP RIPLEY—It's 10 a.m. on Thursday morning and I'm writing to you from a turkey blind on the western side of Camp Ripley. I'm sitting behind Dave Bremer, a disabled American Veteran who is taking part in the special turkey hunt for the first time. I think this is my fourth.
We are preparing for the second annual Lil' Fry Fishing Tournament at Bar Harbor Supper Club on May 14. Yes, May 14, the same day that all the big fry are going to be out trying to catch our state fish! This tournament was something that John Allen, owner of Bar Harbor thought we should do after seeing how successful the Walleyedan's Fishing To End Hunger Tournament has been. But on Minnesota fishing opener? What the heck, I say.
Bye, bye beach! It's sure been nice to soak in some rays in southwest Florida over the kids' spring break. Maybe a bit too much sun, but we'll take it! I was planning on turning right around and heading to Winnipeg for the annual SnoBear migration in search of giant walleyes, but the event was canceled due to sketchy ice conditions. Crazy, there is normally 5 feet of ice this time of year!
At this point last year people were readying themselves to get on the ice and do a little fishing. This year seems to be a little different story. We all know it will probably change in a hurry, but I can handle this nice weather - for now. In fact, I just picked up my new Larson FX fishing boat the other day and have already had it out on the water for its first fishing trip. I would rather not talk about that trip, but what can a person expect when he hasn't been out there in a couple of weeks. It still felt good to be out despite the lack of cooperative walleyes.
Hello. The more I think about how many good anglers there are in our area, the more I realize how important it is to keep things in check. They (the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) put in, we take out. We help fund these stocking programs, but it still is quite impressive to think of how many lakes there are and how they continue to produce year after year. With so many good fishermen/women around, you just have to wonder how long these fisheries can withstand our pressure.
Guns. Is that a scary word for you? I hope not. I grew up with guns, starting with a cap gun and over the years I have shot a lot of other guns. I'm in the market for a handgun at the moment and also trying to decide which shotgun would be the best for my 13-year-old son, now that he is ready to upsize. I listened to presidential candidate Donald Trump on Facebook this morning talking about his view of guns and I really liked it. He seems to get it and I just wish that more people did. Guns are fun and guns can be dangerous if you're not careful.
Get out of here February! Not sure if you enjoyed the short month but I thought it felt like one of the longest! Welcome March! The days are getting longer, daylight-saving time begins, the panfish become more active, spring break happens, it's state tournament time and March is also traditionally one of the snowiest months. Just a few FYIs for you. Do you have your boat rigged and ready? How about the rods and reels, are they clean? New line purchased?
Anyone else starting to think spring? I have a few more guided ice fishing trips in the book, and I have been catching myself doing a little day dreaming lately about the giant walleyes up in Lake Winnipeg. But after being at the boat show in Minneapolis for a couple of days last week, I will have to say that open water is sounding pretty good about now. There are multiple reasons I am excited to get back on the open water. Reason No. 1, I will be back in my "comfort zone" again this year as I have a new tiller steer Larson FX waiting to get wet!
Good morning! For those of you that are on the ball, you are probably reading this paper on Saturday morning, and if you are really clued in, you are about ready to embark on the 25th annual Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza! It starts at noon today, Jan. 24 and it so happens that this year, it's on my birthday! You don't have to get me anything, but please do me a favor and just say a prayer that if "Jingles" decides to bite today that she bites on brother John's line (and that he lands her).