Thursday, November 5, 2015

Weather and Procrastination

November's Temperature Forecast for Red Lake
To say that this Fall's weather has been fabulous certainly depends on your point of view.  It's the first of November and we are still in the 70's forcing a huge amount of procrastination in getting things done for the winter. Although we've had a killing frost about 3 weeks ago, the area has not seen a "hard" frost, lows down in the lower 20's yet which has left many of the leaves still on the trees.  The month of September and October were fairly dry however the last couple weeks have been quite wet with a good inch of so of rain each week.  The nice weather begs to be spent fishing on the river or maybe some crappies on the nearby lakes but unfortunately each year it seems more difficult to get everything done before winter sets in.  The sprinkler system still needs to be blown out, the potatoes are still in the ground, the boat needs a final cleaning and tucked in unless of course this weather continues to hold out.  I know I've mentioned it before but the latest we have open water fished on Lake Mille Lacs was December 6th and it looks like we are heading towards a very late freeze up this year as well.  Contrast that to last year when we were able to drive on Red Lake ice the day after Thanksgiving, November 28th,  it will be a delayed start for sure.  The long term forecast for Red Lake shows 10 degree above average temperatures meaning my early December travel schedule will probably not make any difference in my ice fishing plans. Hopefully by the second week in December it will be cold enough to get out for the weekend but that might be pushing it for sure as a few years ago we didn't get out until New Years. Looking at the forecast above shows Thanksgiving week to have highs about 40, and that's 250 miles north of the Twin Cities! The weather might be the bad news for the season but the good news is that they decided to open up Mille Lacs to ice fishing this year with a limited harvest of 1 walleye between 18 and 20 inches or 1 walleye over 28 inches.  This is more of a token effort to assist the area businesses and is welcome yet for all practical purposes the limit could be 6 walleyes in the same slot values simply because there are so little fish of this size in the lake. The good news is the lake is full of 12 - 14 inch fish and the catch and release action is promising to be fantastic.  As well it is reported that Red Lake will be changing it's current limit of 2 walleyes under 17 inches to 3 fish of which 2 must be under 17 inches and the third can be under 20 inches. The late ice will help the fish populations so we will see how the season shakes out as these regulations go into effect on December 1st.

From My Talented Uncle Jerry
So my Uncle Jerry has been at it again and shipped a special package to me this week.  I immediately know it's from him however the anticipation of what's inside the box is always special.  Upon opening the box there were 3 items that both figuratively and literally had my names on them.  The first is what looked like a hand carved statue of me after a successful day of fishing. Along with the blue eyes and my gray mustache, Uncle Jerry really captures the essence of who I am by posing me with a large fish in my left hand. The other added touches to a beautiful sculpture is the fact that my name is on the hat and if you look really close you can see my shirt is one of the Green Bay Packers and even has a GB engraved.  WOW!!!  The second thing of interest was a hand carved mouse lure packaged in a box especially made for it, complete with a sliding lid.  I know for a fact that I had one of these in that tackle box he gave me almost 50 years ago (I still have some of those baits) and it was one of his favorites when fishing down at Alma.  It's absolutely perfect and even has a leather tail.  My heart tells me to display it but my logic tells me to try and catch a fish on it as this would be the best of two worlds.  Hard water is coming soon so if I do it will have to be next year.  For sure I'd have to use braided line to make sure I didn't loose it. The third item was a nice wooden spoon and I have the perfect place for it, in my Salem Ice Cabin.  I know Jerry would scoff at the thought of putting it in the kitchen when it could much better to use while fishing, and it will be! I am extremely lucky to have an uncle that thinks so much of me, I love him dearly as he always has a special place in my heart!

Well, it's off to deer hunting and the weather is looking pretty good.  I put up a tree stand this year, not too far off the ground but high enough to get a better view of things. It will be Steak ala Kienitz on Friday night as usual and back home on Sunday night.  With the weather predictions of in the 50's again for next week it might be tempting to take the boat out one day, we'll see.  Good luck to all you Minnesota hunters!