Summer is here, yes! The week before last I wrote about the Fishing Classic that is held each year to raise money for the Confidence Learning Center. Last week I thought I had missed my Dispatch deadline only to find out last Saturday morning as I was launching my boat for the run down to Madden's Resort for the Fishing Classic, that my daughter Alex had filled my shoes and submitted a Father's Day Article! What an awesome surprise, and as I read her story going through the narrows by Bar Harbor I will admit I was fighting back tears ... and I'm not a big cryer.
My sincerest apologies to those of you flipping through the pages of the outdoors section hoping to find a tip as to where the walleye bite has been hot, or an entertaining quip on one of my dad's latest outdoor adventures. To many of you my father is Walleyedan. He's a family man who holds the outdoors close to his heart. He's passionate for all things with scales, feathers and fur. He's a God-fearing man who's not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. My dad is all of these things and then some, but most importantly he's an awesome father to my brother, sister and myself.
The 33rd annual Camp Confidence Fishing Classic is set for next weekend and at this point I will plan on fishing it for about my 23rd straight year. Time does fly and I have had many fun memories from this charity tournament. I can also recall some very slow days of fishing.
Fishing has been pretty darn good this spring in the Brainerd lakes area! I have mainly good trips, but this morning I had my mom and dad out and we were not able to muster any walleye. Why? Because we didn't have the right bait. Should I have treated my parents just like any other customer and been prepared for everything? Of course, but instead Nick's boat (Nick, Gloria and Wayne) put the hammer down on the walleye. All we caught were three pike. We were using minnows, and fishing the same way we have been catching them all spring, but today they wanted a leech.
Happy Memorial Day weekend! Thank you to all service people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us in the U.S.A. I looks like it might be a moist stretch of weather we are going to encounter over the next number of days, but let's hope that it's not a total wash-out! But whatever the case, let's just make sure at some point, and maybe at many points throughout the weekend, that we remember those who died fighting for us.
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.