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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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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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Now, there’s a billboard I’d like to see!


The original floating lure, first invented in 1936 by Laurie Rapala, eventually becoming Normark fishing industries by 1959. Back then, catching more fish
was the game — and still is today!

This Worlds Leading manufacturer of crankbaits, created the most realistic lure on the market. Considered a classic — today there are many more advanced options.

We all want to catch more fish and tell stories about the-big-fish-that-got-away. So, how is it that soft bait manufacturers are able to keep pace with the number one high-tech lure manufacturer?

Have an idea for a Rapala sign? Send me your ideas
and I’ll post it here on FML Outdoors!
(more…)

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