Thursday, April 18, 2013

Winter's Stubborn Grip

2013 Minnesota Fishing Opener
Well, while I'm in Denver struggling against a late season blizzard, the forecast for back home on Thursday is but another winter storm warning, 3rd for the month of April.  If you check my posts from this time last year the apple blossoms were in full bloom, the ice had gone off Mille Lacs 2 weeks ago, and we had several 80 degree days to brag about.  This April it's a 180 degree difference.  We still had 4 inches of snow on the ground when I left home, have yet to experience a 60 degree day, and the ice hasn't even pulled from the shore yet. Reports that the ice is still 30 inches on Leech has Team Walleyer's ratcheting up the concerns.  I continue to remind everyone that in 2008 we arrived at Leech with almost half the lake ice covered and would not experience it's official ice out until 3 days later on Monday.  Never the less, with ice sloshing against the boat, we had the best success in the 35 years of fishing Leech Lake on opener, with almost 400 fish over 12 inches caught.  Even more impressive was that almost half were over 20 inches.   Well, this picture has been the rage of the walleye forums these days and seems appropriate for the prediction of the 2013 Minnesota Walleye Fishing opener.  Either way I am ready for it!  Admittedly I have a lot of work to do as I have the boat tore apart installing my updated equipment, cleaning and reorganizing, putting new line on my reels and a number of other stuff that requires more time than is available.  Oh well, a labor of love.

Keith's Exciting Day on The Rainy River
So, someone is still fishing, or at least attempting.  Last year at this time the Rainy River had been open for almost a month and fishing was in full swing.  This year the river stayed stubborn with only a few landings open for boats and 20 inches of snow on the ground.  Youtube videos showed boats parked along the road up to 2 miles away from the landing.  Reports of 2 - 4 hours of time to either land your boat or get it back loaded an the trailer including a long walk was not my idea of fishing nirvana.  Never the less I have 2 friends that we dedicated enough to try their luck, Keith Holtan and Ryan Sterle.  Keith headed back to Alaska on Monday and really wanted to drive up from Brainerd to Baudette and fish the Rainy.  I told him he should take his shrink with him.  Never the less he had to go, sort of like the spawning urge of those salmon he fishes for on the Kenai.  I really do understand but this year wasn't normal as he was delayed by the weather, drove up, got the boat in and started fishing.....I guess the picture says it all.  Anyway, I am glad that he got to go before he left Minnesota as I look forward to his return in 6 months and hopefully we can still get out to Mille Lacs for a little lead lining for walleyes. Reports from Ryan were a little better.  On Monday he texted a picture of his boat partner holding a nice walleye and a report of hot action with 8 walleyes over 20 inches.  Ryan lives north of Hibbing, MN and being single and self employed,  can take off at a minutes notice.  He is one of the guys on Team Walleye and given the weather warms up, I will see him in 4 weeks.

Ellie's funeral turned out well as I got to see many of her friends and relatives over the years.  I finished 8 more pints of pickled pink salmon as I seemed to end up with a quite a few.  My friend and distant neighbor Rick Shermer raises laying hens and as long as I have fresh fish he keeps me in fresh eggs.  Having more than he can deal with, I made him some pickled eggs.  I probably won't see him till next Sunday and will be interested in seeing how well he likes them.     Heading back home on Saturday to celebrate my mom's 79th birthday and this crazy weather, it's getting tight!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess I forgot to tell you about the sheriff at the boat launches. They started to hang out there lto break up the fights. Never cut in fro.t of a guy who's been waiting two hours to get out!