Outdoors

Mon
17
May

Hook and bullet club - Sharing fishing recipe

If you’ve been lucky enough to put some fish on the stringer, you know your work is not done. Once you’ve got the fillets out, it’s time for the most important part of the process: cooking.<BR><BR>There are many ways to prepare fresh fish but we’ve found one that really works well and is as simple as it gets.<BR><BR>Walleye, pike and panfish have been prepared to mouth-watering levels using this simple but effective method.<BR><BR>Take your fillets and make sure all bones and any skin tissue have been removed. Wash off the fillets and open up a package of Bearden Farms breading mix. <BR><BR>We use a simple zip-lock bag with enough mix to do a number of fillets. With the fillets still a little damp, but not dripping wet, drop them into the bag.<BR><BR>Zip the bag shut and shake it up until the fillets are covered with the Bearden breading. Now you’re ready to cook.

Sun
09
May

Getting ready for fishing opener

Fishing opener is already upon us and we should have a great opener, weather permitting. So where you gonna go? <BR><BR>Picking the first spot to fish for the year can either be a no-brainer based on past success or a crap shoot if you’re like the rest of us and have had full and empty stringers on the openers over the years.<BR><BR>In our house we have a solid vote for Basswood Lake but as of this writing, no permit for our favorite fishing grounds. <BR><BR>So, we’re back to the local lakes. This is a tough choice as well. From Fall to Farm and Shagawa to Birch as well as the inviting Lake Vermilion, there are many spots where we could be launching the Lund Saturday morning. <BR><BR>Of course a number of things have to happen before there will be any launching. First and foremost we need to make sure the motor is ready to go for the year.

Mon
03
May

Hook and bullet club - anchoring the catch

Whenever a guy wants to tell you a fish story, you know you’re in for it. When the guy brings props (not the kind on boat motors), you’re in for trouble.<BR><BR>Frank Fifo brought a bucket of props in the other day for one of those kind of fish stories. You see other than planting trees, Frank can usually be found out fishing somewhere along the White Iron chain of lakes.<BR><BR>So it was that he was fishing last summer at Silver Rapids, using six pound test, plying for the elusive critters he loves to chase - walleyes. <BR><BR>Not too surprisingly, Frank caught a snag in the rocky bottom. Except this was one of those springy snags that seems like it wants to come up out of the water. <BR><BR>So Frank set his fishing pole down and pulled up the monofilament to see what was on the other end. Hand over hand he came upon a thick, black rope.

Mon
26
Apr

Hook and bullet club

A photo we ran last week of a moose that had much of its fur rubbed off sparked the interest of Travis Raida. He saw the picture as well and thought it looked very familiar. Here’s his story:<BR><BR>“Word has been passed to me that a moose photograph appeared in Monday’s edition of the Ely Echo. Having seen a moose north of Virginia on Sunday, April 11 at approximately 4:45 p.m., I wondered if my eyes gazed upon the same mighty beast. I quickly fired up the computer and logged onto elyecho.com.<BR><BR>“I scanned the website looking for a link to this ‘ghost moose.’ Clicking on the link, I was whirled across cyberspace to a picture that looked strangely familiar. It was mine. <BR><BR>“I had snapped the photograph along the side of Highway 169 about a mile and a half north of the division from Highway 53.<BR><BR>“Luck had fallen upon me as I was traveling back to the Twin Cities.

Sun
18
Apr

Hook and bullet club - Eagles and "ghost" moose mysteries solved

Okay, it appears the eagle mystery is solved. Our Hardy Boys are the DNR’s Tom Rusch and Joe Geis along with Ron Guck.<BR><BR>The bald eagles sitting on the ice on Robinson Lake for no apparent reason had a good reason to be there: dead fish.<BR><BR>Robinson is a shallow lake that experienced a winter kill this year. A winter kill is when the oxygen levels in the water drop so low that fish cannot survive.<BR><BR>The holes in the ice provide some additional oxygen for the fish to congregate to and also a spot for the dead ones to float to the surface. Easy pickings for the eagles.<BR><BR>“More fish die every day so the eagles keep coming back to enjoy the McFish restaurant buffet!” said Rusch.<BR><BR>Well I’m sure everyone can sleep better at night knowing why those eagles were out there. And this should put that alien theory to rest once and for all.

Mon
12
Apr

Taking snowmobiles for the last ride of the season - on water

When the snow melts on the trails, lakes and rivers, winter may be waning but there is still a way to extend the snowmobile season. <BR><BR>You may need to be slightly crazy and have a snowmachine with lots of horse power to do it, but with enough of both to keep those paddles spinning you can go ‘water skipping.’ <BR><BR>Once you’re out there you better keep moving because if you slow down, you’re sunk. This seems to happen quite often, but the guys are used to it. It’s not really too bad for the machine, just a hassle. <BR><BR>You fish the sled out of the water, whatever it takes. Usually there is a lot of help at hand, a 4-wheeler, a winch, a boat, or an arm-in-arm human chain will suck it up onto shore (the machine - and hopefully the driver).

Mon
12
Apr

Hook and bullet club - Eagles returning

The bald eagle is our country’s national bird and especially as of late, a common site around our neck of the woods. <BR><BR>If you’ve been driving along Highway 169 the past week or so, you probably saw the eagles perched on the ice of Robinson Lake. Local back cracker Bucky Phelps was driving home the other night and saw eight eagles out on the ice. <BR><BR>I asked local DNR wildlife guy Tom Rusch what gives. “Those are tethered there for tourists,” he said with a laugh. <BR><BR>“No, there’s got to be a food source there,” said Rusch. “There’s probably something dead nearby.” <BR><BR>A dead deer would be a likely dinner for the eagles, who are great hunters as well but can scavenge with the best of them.

Wed
07
Apr

Burntside Lake railway and the sunken scow mystery

We have all heard stories of lost pieces of railroad history left abandoned in the woods at the end of the line. Most of them have to do with logging lines that were hastily put down and torn up as the tall trees came and went. <BR><BR>In Minnesota, the logging and lumbering industries were always looking for a better way to transport logs down rivers and across lakes. This led to some very interesting types of vessels. Some vessels were “j erry -rigged” to access areas so that they could go in, log, and get out fast. A lot of their vessels were similar in nature, but each one had a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted look. Some would take a flatbottom boat and put a deck on it, add a steam-powered donkey winch system, and even paddle wheels if needed.<BR><BR>This story is about one of these beauties that I found scuttled in Hoist Bay on Burntside Lake near Ely.

Wed
07
Apr

Burntside Lake railway and the sunken scow mystery

We have all heard stories of lost pieces of railroad history left abandoned in the woods at the end of the line. Most of them have to do with logging lines that were hastily put down and torn up as the tall trees came and went. <BR><BR>In Minnesota, the logging and lumbering industries were always looking for a better way to transport logs down rivers and across lakes. This led to some very interesting types of vessels. Some vessels were “j erry -rigged” to access areas so that they could go in, log, and get out fast. A lot of their vessels were similar in nature, but each one had a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted look. Some would take a flatbottom boat and put a deck on it, add a steam-powered donkey winch system, and even paddle wheels if needed.<BR><BR>This story is about one of these beauties that I found scuttled in Hoist Bay on Burntside Lake near Ely.

Mon
05
Apr

Hook and bullet club

Call it cabin fever in reverse. I need to get to away from it all, to a place where there’s no television, no internet and no electricity. I need some shack time.<BR><BR> <BR><BR>Oh sure, I enjoyed watching the Minnesota women’s basketball team beat up on #1 Duke Tuesday night. But that’s an exception to the rule. As for the normal prime-time line-up on any network, cable or otherwise, you can have it. <BR><BR>Give me the hiss of a Humphrey propane light any night of the week. The fire crackling in the wood stove and the teapot set to boil on the stove with another batch of hot water for those dirty dishes in the sink. <BR><BR>Shack time. <BR><BR>Should I get up and get some more wood for the fire now or sit here and enjoy life without all the modern conveniences for a little while longer?<BR><BR> These are the questions one should be asking most weekends of the year.

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