John Myers / Forum News Service
I ventured north last weekend, not to find fame or fortune, but to mow the lawn. But I digress. This is a column about fishing, in general, and walleyes in particular and, even more particular, 17-inch walleyes. The Myers clan is lucky because the place we often fish has lots of walleyes (smallmouth, crappie, pike and musky, too, but those are other stories.) We catch walleyes from 8-18 inches regularly, occasionally up to 28 inches and even a couple 30-inch-plus monsters.
WARBA, Minn. — In a dense forest of young alder, aspen and maple trees north of town, Debbie Petersen hollered for her dog, Riley, to slow down. She didn’t want him to stomp on any baby woodcock chicks, the “little puffballs’’ as she calls them, the reasons we were here. “Easy!” Petersen bellowed in a voice used only by hunters trying to get through to their dogs. “Whoa! Slow down!”
DULUTH — Jared Munch is a bona fide adventure junkie, so it’s not surprising he’s leaving from Brighton Beach in Duluth on Monday, June 10, bound for James Bay on the Arctic Ocean. He’ll be paddling there. On a stand-up paddleboard. Munch will paddle along the North Shore of Lake Superior from Duluth to the Michipicoten River in Ontario, about 490 miles away if you hug the lake’s shoreline. He’ll then paddle up the Michipicoten, portage over to the Missanabie River, then paddle down the fast-flowing Missanabie to James Bay, another 380 miles on rivers.
ALONG MOOSE CREEK, Minn. — Kurt Anderson stepped gingerly between hummocks, working his way to the edge of the stream where he hoped he would find a fish. He cast into a fishy-looking riffle, between a bend and a pool, next to a half-submerged log that seemed the perfect spot for a foot-long brook trout to be hanging out. If the trout was there, however, it didn’t make its presence known, ignoring a juicy worm on the end of Anderson’s line. In other stretches trout ignored his flies and spinners, too.
As you read this story it’s likely the DeRosier clan is fishing for walleye somewhere on giant Smoothrock Lake in northwestern Ontario. And among the 22 friends and family members on this year’s trip, Bill DeRosier of Silver Bay is likely leading the catching part.
DULUTH -- Three of the five Great Lakes are at or above record high water levels for May and the other two are getting close as a winter of heavy snow and a spring of heavy rains continues to flow downstream. And with wet weather now expected to continue for at least the short term, new all-time record lake levels are possible in late summer or early fall when the lakes hit their usual yearly peaks. Lake Superior sat at 183.8 meters at mid-week, above the record May average of 183.7 set in 1986.
Looking for something a little different for your Memorial Day camping experience next weekend? Or maybe you want to make plans for a long Fourth of July weekend in the northwoods? Hipcamp.com may be for you. Think of it as the Airbnb or Trivago of camping, but with an offbeat attitude. Hipcamp encourages and recruits private landowners to open up space — in their backyard, along their lake, river, farm or ranch — for campers to rent. It then lists and promotes those sites, along with most public campgrounds, to prospective campers.
DULUTH -- The veteran birders said it was a slow morning, but after less than 90 minutes of walking around Park Point in Duluth, we had seen more than two dozen species of birds. “I think that was number 24 or 25,’’ said Shannon Robertson as she checked off a ruby throated-kinglet, bufflehead ducks and red-breasted mergansers on her bird list. Usually, the experts said, it would be at least 40 or 50 species in any given morning.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday, May 15, said it has formally renewed mineral exploration leases for Twin Metals, the Chilean-owned mining company hoping to build a large underground copper-nickel mine near Ely. The 10-year lease renewal gives Twin Metals renewed access to national forest land on which to search for minerals and prepare to develop a mining project.
DULUTH - Boat and motor ready for the walleye opener on Saturday? Check. New line on the reel? Check? Minnows for bait? Not so fast. A cool spring following a winter that saw many fish perish in shallow ponds and lakes have combined to create a minnow shortage in the final days before the Minnesota walleye fishing opener set for May 11.