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Archive for the ‘Fresh Water’ Category


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“Trout, Trout, Trout!”

Fly Fishing Trip: How serious are you about fishing? How about a 30-mile hike before you ever wet a line? Sometimes you have to find the end-of-the trail before you start enjoying some of the worlds best trout fishing. (Can you find the Golden trout)?

Somewhere, WY

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“To Drill or Drift?”

Unseasonably cold weather puts Minnesota’s 2013 Opening Fishing Season on ice as hardy-souls find drilling for walleyes easier than drifting.

Baudette, MN

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“Why sleep, when you can go fishing!”

The alarm went off today at 4:00 a.m. “Why so early,” you may ask? It’s Wisconsin’s Opening Trout fishing season! We arrived at the river — just as the sun came up. The outside thermometer reads -4 degrees below zero! It was cold, but well worth getting up for!

Kinnikinnick River, WI

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“Be Organized and Plan for the Unexpected!”

Today‘s Featured Canoe Trip (BWCA): This was my third trip into Minnesota’s largest untouched ecosystem, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. With my guiding hat on — seven hardy paddlers from Eden Prairie, Minnesota’s Outdoor Center, set out to explore and experience this large majestic forest. Along our trek we found many kinds of mushrooms, moss and granite protrusions.
Preparing for any trip outdoors requires planning and preparation. Knowing that conditions can — and most often WILL change require you to respond and act appropriately when conditions turn unpleasant. On the fourth day, we had rain, lightning and hail. By having a shelter, such as a lean-to tarp or canopy, everyone was able to enjoy a hot meal.

Brule Lake, MN

 

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“Best Fish Fry I’ve Ever Had!”

After a weekend of catching monster sunnies — the whole family sat down to enjoy a world-class Fourth of July fish fry and fireworks!

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“It’s that time!”

I love spring crappie fishing in waders!

Fat Man’s Landing, MN

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First Cast 2011

A group of Hooded-Megansers beat their wings against the water as they fly away from beneath the undergrowth. Wild Roses, Dog Wood and young saplings dip their branches into my favorite Crappie lake. Walking closer — two Grey Herons fly over the trees.

“That’s odd?” I thought to myself. “That’s kinda early to see Herons.” It’s the middle of March and all the lakes are still frozen – but not this one! Because of the heavy snow and potential of winter kill, the Minnesota DNR has underwater aerators running to keep the water open.

Sadly, looking down into the water lay thousands of pale-motionless dead fish! Only the silhouettes of shadowless bodies identify what kind of fish it was. Sunfish, Crappies and Largemouth Bass completely litter the shoreline.

What is Winter Kill?

Winter kill happens during long-harsh winters like the one we had this year. When deep snow covers shallow lakes, the lake is sealed off from the atmosphere and cannot be recharged with oxygenated air. Ice and snow reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, thereby reducing photosynthesis and oxygen production. Deeper Twin Cities lakes with larger oxygen levels can withstand the stress and will usually survive.

In desperation, I’ve seen shore-owners with plows and snow-throwers trying to remove the dense snow pack to allow more light to penetrate the ice.

February, is generally the most critical month. This is about how long smaller lakes can stand, as the rate of oxygen consumption increases by living aquatic organisms and depletes the supply of oxygen stored in the lake.

As I make a few cast….my memories of a great Crappie lake may be all I take home today.

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“Clubbing Outdoors”

With the Yukon loaded to-the-gills and the Beasty Boys playing, fish were soon pulling at our lines and New York strip steaks flamed over a hot grill. The air was filled with laughter and the cold night sky danced with green and purple Northern Lights.

This is my kind of night out-on-the town – swilling a few cold beverages and pickin up a few Walleyes to take home!

A blizzard came through Saturday, which really turned fishing around. My buddy Brian and I caught our limit of Walleyes and Saugers by 3:00! The other ice-house came in at a close second.

I smell a Fish-Fry!

Lake of the Woods, MN

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“The Gods Must Be Hungry!”

A special occasion centered around the enjoyment of the outdoors and to celebrate the fall harvest with friends; once again we gather to tantalize our taste buds with unique dishes — all cooked with wild game. Starting with a variety of appetizers, such as Pickled Dried Venison with Home-made Wine Cheese and Pickled Northern Pike served with Pineapple Infused Vodka. Leaving our guests guessing, we sampled (for some, their first time) Dove Pate and Pheasant White Chili. The main course was Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin served over Garlic Mash Potatoes and my own steak sauce, made from reduced stock and carmelized onions.

It only goes to show that….the Gods must have been hungry when they create wild game, because it sure is good!

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It’s January and I say it’s never to late or to soon to “Think Spring” even though the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion is right around the corner! Finding those spring crappies and planning your next summer vacation starts at home. Now!

While on the Minnesota’s DNR Web site, I found some very good information.
If you’re not familiar with Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) or the Recreation Compass (An interactive mapping tool) I strongly suggest you get to know these tools. Listed are all 51 areas of Minnesota and the land available for sale from the DNR. Also valuable when planning a fishing trip are the sporting goods shops along the way and map stores to order large prints of your favorite lake.

For more maps: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/prim.html

For lakes check out: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html

When you select DNR data — from hunting regulations to historical items or restoring shoreline, you can create customized maps. At the Minnesota’s DNR website it can be used to browse or find a lake and good structure to fish quickly. Shortcut tools enable you to find a particular lake, city or park fast. More maps can be found at ToMO (Tons of Maps Online): http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/tomo.html

Another great document to have on hand is the Minnesota State Forests at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_forests/sft00046.pdf

For ariel photos go to: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/airphotos/index.html

Ultimately, if you can’t find what you are looking for, call the DNR information hotline at 1-888-MINNDNR or 651-296-6157 in metro. Another option is to email them at info.dnr@state.mn.us. They have always responded to all my questions.

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“The Figure 8 works!”

Pictured Above: Jamie Kopischke with a 48-inch Muskie. This fish bit on the second pass of a figure-8.

FML Outdoors Featured Catch of the Day

48-inch Musky. Released for you.

Lake Minnetonka, MN

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“Musky Mayhem with the Woods!”

Pictured Above: Good friend Brian Wood, fishing along-side father Jim Wood (Not Pictured) succeeded in stirring up the water on a calm day.

FML Outdoors Featured Catch of the Day

49-inch Musky. Released for you.

Lake Minnetonka, MN

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FML Outdoors

On this trip, Chris and I took the canoe to a hidden lake near Minneapolis. There’s no boat landing and the lake is completely landlocked with lavishly designed homes. So we grabbed my canoe cart and proceeded to walk with our gear down a freshly paved bike path. There’s quit a few hidden gems like this one; perhaps in your backyard as well?

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“Marble-Eyes!”

Josh and 2 friends from work fished Mille Lacs Lake out on the mud flats in 3 to 4-foot waves, while trolling cranks in 25 to 30-feet of water!  “My buddy Joe got pretty sea sick,” laughs Josh. “We caught 4 walleye in 2-hours before we decided it was too rough. It took over an hour to get back to shore — worst boat ride ever!”

FML Outdoors Featured Catch of the Day

First fish 23-inches, 24-inches, 25-inches and finally a 22-incher, all released.

Mille Lacs Lake, MN

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