Thursday, January 9, 2014

Too Cold To Fish?

Monday Morning Wake up Temperature
Now normally I would not even broach the subject of temperature and ice fishing, for crying out loud, we need something to thicken the ice on Mille Lacs this year.  Well we got that something in the form of what is known as a Polar Vortex, a fancy way of describing the scientific phenomenon when a high pressure ridge forms in southern Canada which forces the jet stream to purge south which brings Arctic temperatures with it.  It all pretty humorous as every weatherperson is falling all over themselves trying to be the coldest.  I don't know if it's just me but growing up in Eleva, subzero temperatures in the winter seemed like a non issue, unless of course you were trying to start your old carburated automobile which had a tendency to flood quite easily when the temperatures dropped.  Eleva is in the Buffalo River Valley, about a mile or so wide and cold air sinks so we often had some of the most frigid air in the region.  We didn't do much ice fishing when I was young as the Eleva Pond contained trout which the season was closed until May.  Ice fishing for me started when I was about 17, I had a car and could drive to Alma, the closest place for decent fishing.  Along with the introduction of the Mora Ice Auger, things progressively got better, easier, and a lot more fun.  Now the Sunday after Christmas saw Mark and I woke up to -25 below zero temps on Red Lake, not a big deal as we were 5 hours north of home snug in our wheel house catching walleyes, besides the previous 2 days were a comfortable 30 degrees out.  Starting on Saturday, January 4th was the beginning of a 5 day run where temperatures would not get above zero at all.  I guess I am just getting older (some say wiser)  but with Sunday's high temp of -10 and Monday a whooping -16, it is just  best to let old Mother Nature build some ice for the rest of the winter. 

Matt and Christina
Saturday saw on of our long time Team Walleye members, Matt Taylor get married to his long time sweetheart Christina.  Matt is the son of my great friend Mark Taylor, my adopted Minnesota family.  He has been with Team Walleye since 1991 when Mark Mayerich, Mark Taylor, Gary Ullom, and Ron Edberg all brought their 10 year old son's to the Leech Lake Fishing Opener to make sure the traditions continue and Matt along with Adam Mayerich have never missed a beat.  So Matt and Christina, after 7 years, decided to tie the knot, assuring that the moment would be cherished by their families forever.  Because of the circumstances their reception isn't scheduled till July, which works well for me.  They are quite the couple having travelled all over the world, he is a computer  systems guy and she teaches in the public schools system.  Both are very adventurous and have worked hard to get those things they want to do, out of the way before they really settled down.  Christina's one goal was to be part of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader squad.  She finally realized her wish and is on the 2013 rooster.  Meanwhile Matt has taken on the role of being his mom's James Bond guy.  That is pretty hard to deny.  The only thing I commented when they announce their wedding, don't schedule it on Fishing Opener!  My wife loves taking wedding pictures and she arranged this one using the flowers on the alter.  Not knowing much about Catholic protocols, she got a friendly push from one of the custodians about rearranging flowers on such a sacred place.  We got our pictures, put the flowers back in plenty of time, at least enough get this shot.  You have to admit, a pretty good looking couple, congratulations.

The weekend looks as though we might get a January thaw with highs in the mid 30's by Sunday.  The 55 degree swing in the temperatures will be welcome however it will cause some havoc with the ice.  Ice is at it's greatest volume at around freezing then shrinks as it gets colder causing cracks. When the temperature warms, the ice expands and has a tendency to cause heaves.  We'll see what Sunday brings as I am planning to go to Mille Lacs to do some business and stop at Bill's.  The Packers lost, somewhat disheartening but little I can do about it.  The game provided a good excuse not to go fishing in the cold however maybe I should have just went anyway.  My good friend Phil Gordon has season tickets and asked if I wanted to buy them if they were available.  We inquired at the prescribed 9:00 call time but apparently they were only selling so many to those who had not committed earlier and we did not get still would have been nice to go.  I know they had tickets available but they were nosebleed seats, the television is a better place to watch the game.  Thursday night is the opening of the St. Paul Sportshow, the first of the year.  My friend Keith Holtan has a booth representing his Kenai Alaskan business Beaver Creek Cabins  and guide service.  Stop by and see Keith, he would appreciate it.  I already have the end of January booked for trips as I leave with my wife's uncle and family to Lake of the Woods on January 24th then the following week go back to Red to pick up Mark's wheel house that's parked at JR's.  It's a tough job but somebody has to do it!


Dylan W said...

Hi it's Dylan, how was/is your fishing season going? I can't wait until it is time to go again. I have been wanting to catch a walleye for a while now and you seem to know how to catch them. I almost got two this year but lost them. Are there any lures or techniques you would recommend to catch one of these fish? Thanks

Dave Anderson said...


Great to hear from you and congrates on the nice amount of money you raised this year. I'm sure everyone is pretty proud of you. Fishing has been going pretty well but as you see I have been traveling a long ways to get them. Walleye can be a tough fish to catch because they can be so finicky. I always say if you want to catch walleyes, go to where there are lots of them. Check out where they are stocked in you area or better yet get your uncle to bring you to Minnesota and we'll make sure you get some. Red Lake has been on fire as you can catch a all the walleyes you want. With the cold weather you should have lots of ice around you to find them. I like Sweedish Pimples, Hawger Spoons, Rattlin" Flyers, and Jigging Raps. You might have a hard time finding them in your area and if so, I can send you a bunch for you to try. Send me an e-mail and we can discuss it further, I'd be glad to help. My friend has travelled out east with Dave Genz, the father of modern ice fishing and when he came back stated that you guys are 10 years behind us guys in Minnesota. With daytime highs of -16 below zero, I guess we don't have much to do in the winter!

Dylan W said...

Ok thanks I have a few Swedish pimple spoons and other similar types of spoons. I will try these next time I fishing for walleye. Thanks