Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

4 foot snow banks
Well, if it isn't below zero here in Minnesota, it's snowing.  It's sort of you want beets for dinner or for supper..........pretty much a no win situation.  On Monday a storm came through the area and dumped about 5 inches total which put our total for the season to over 50 inches.  It finally warmed up to 45 yesterday however what that really means is another storm is about to come through again and sure enough, the National Weather Service is predicting 6 - 9 inches of snow tomorrow.  If this happens, we will go over the normal amount of snowfall we have for an entire year, which is about 55 inches total.  What's even more frustrating is we never had our January thaw, which is normal, and March is usually our snowiest month.   This has left the ground covered with at least 15 - 18 inches of real snow cover which is the most I can remember in over 20 years.  Yes, I know, when I was a kid we had twice as much and I would probably believe that except I was half as tall back then.  Well, the good news is the lakes should be full and the ground moisture will help the farmers get a good start on things.  One other thing that it helps is the snow does insulate the ice on the lakes and both Leech and Mille Lacs have ice thickness's less than it would normally be for this time of year, even considering the amount of below zero temperatures we have had.  With a little luck we will not have a repeat of the last years fishing opener where the ice was still on the lakes.   Back in 2012 I decided to retire my stand alone 8 hp dual stage snow blower for a 47 inch model that fits on the front of my John Deere X724 garden tractor.  It's actually a very nice unit, shaft driven and modular, it takes about 10 minutes to mount it to the tractor and with 28 hp behind it, the JD will throw the snow anywhere from 30 - 40 feet away.   In 2012 I used it twice for a couple of 2 inch snowfalls yet this year we are making up for lost time.  It's kind of fun blowing the snow and maybe next year I'll look at getting a cab for it. 

Thanks Sis!
On Saturday night I met my neighbor Pete at Tim's heated garage where solving the worlds problems start (unfortunately we never get that part finished!).  Pete suggested we head to Pelican Lake on Sunday afternoon, an invitation hard to resist.  Because it was somewhat nice out we decided to load up our portables into my trailer and fish outside first, having shelter if we needed.  I had been out there a number of weeks ago and did pretty well, but got stuck in the deep snow by myself.  Deciding that the snow should be settled by now we headed back to the same place and my assumptions were completely wrong.  Someone had plowed a narrow road out about 1/2 mile and at the end we decided to cross country it to my previously marked spot.  We went about 100 feet before the wheels started spinning, we were again stuck on the ice.  Luckily I had Pete with yet it wasn't quite enough as we needed the help of 2 cross country skiers passing by.  Unhooking the trailer and pushing it back to the hard pack, the truck proved a little more difficult.  After shoveling and pushing we were able to clear ourselves, relief!  Ahead of us was another individual that had the same idea as we did, stuck on the ice.  4 of us managed to push him out as well, we thanked everyone and decided to simply fish where we were.  Pelican lake is a shallow lake and we were in 10 feet, about the average deepest part.  It would prove to be a tough bite and although we marked a lot of fish, they pretty much had lockjaw.  I managed a few crappies but nothing to take home, we fished till 7:00 then left.  Much to my sadness the DNR is about to drain the lake and manage it for waterfowl.   If you click this link Pelican Lake Draining, this is today's article in the paper which outlines the plan.  I have complained about this in previous posts but it seems like it's kind of like pushing a rope.

Now, I'm not much of a Facebook fan yet it's hard not to exist these days without having some link to people you know.  So I get this e-mail, a notification that my sister Beth had posted something and I should check it out.  Pulling it up was this picture and a comment "Is this why U fish so much, LOL".
I guess she knows me pretty well and it was great to know she's thinking about me.  As I finish this post we are under a severe winter storm warning with the season's worst storm slated to start Thursday morning.  Some areas east of Minneapolis are predicted to receive up to 18" of snow, different than stated in my first paragraph.  Depending on the final storm track this could shift more to the west and we could be right in the middle of it.  Either way, I started the post complaining about the snow and I see it did a lot of good.  Friday looks like a clean out day then expect to meet my brother Steve at the house, pick up Pete and head to Hunter's Point on Mille Lacs.  Hopefully Steve can make it from Lacrosse safely and the resort will have enough spaces plowed out for our group of 5 wheel houses.  Either way we are simply not getting a break on the snow this year, uffda.

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