Outdoors

Sun
13
Jun

Hook and bullet club: No luck like a kid's luck

There is one thing the best fishermen can’t buy, rent, borrow, steal or imitate. Luck. And the best kind of luck is kid luck. <BR><BR>I knew this before we even put the boat in the water Sunday afternoon. Kids and wives outfish dads and husbands on a regular basis. This day would be no different.<BR><BR>I was outnumbered two to one, kids to dads. Evan and Megan were chomping at the bit to go fishing and we finally were going to be able to get out on the water. <BR><BR>We had to stop at the gas station and the bait shop on the way to the landing. This was all part of the experience, of course. Seeing the minnows swimming around in the tanks is fun in its own right for a five and 11 year-old. Especially if you’re already wearing your life jacket. <BR><BR>Then there was the jig selection, “Get the white one, I like that color.” And of course we had to get some pop and ice for the cooler as well as a box of Everlasting Gobstoppers.

Sun
13
Jun

Big walleyes lead hit parade

High water levels and increasing water temperatures brought out some whopper walleyes in the Ely area.<BR><BR>Leading the hit parade was a 10 lb. 8 oz. walleye that went 32 inches on the ruler, caught on a minnow by Kendal Glasener of Des Moines, IA in Little Long Lake and registered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. <BR><BR>Just two inches shorter but also tipping the scales at 10 lb. 8 oz. was a walleye caught by Ryan Becker of Ossian, IA in Basswood Lake on a minnow and checked in at Packsack Canoe Trips and Log Cabins. <BR><BR>Six year-old Parker Scipioni of Hibbing caught a 30-inch walleye in White Iron Lake that tipped the scales at 7 lb. 10 oz. Parker used a minnow for bait and weighed in the fish at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. <BR><BR>Ron Saver of Inver Grove Heights, MN used a Rapala to land a 6 lb. 5 oz.

Mon
07
Jun

Hook and bullet club offers fishing news

This weekend is the annual Ely Jaycee’s “Take a Kid Fishing” event. On Saturday, June 12, kids will be loaded up in boats to fish Farm and Garden lakes for the day.<BR><BR>What a great way for a kid to spend the day, enjoying life on the water and getting a chance to catch a fish to boot. <BR><BR>Kids can be dropped off at the Ely Dairy Queen on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. The group will then leave promptly at 9 a.m. for fishing holes on Farm and Garden lakes. <BR><BR>The group fishes out of two pontoon boats a donation from The Great Outdoors. The trip includes lunch at Timber Trail Lodge, provided by the Ely Dairy Queen. <BR><BR>Lessons in boat safety and pointers for those who haven’t fished before are included and if the water is warm enough, swimming at Timber Trail Lodge. <BR><BR>Kids should bring life jackets if they have one or one will be provided, a swim suit, towel and jacket just in case of inclement weather.

Sun
06
Jun

Birdshot and backlashes: Being lost in the woods

It’s a big woods. Especially at night when it’s raining and there is no trail or other indication as to how to get out of it. Just trees, rain, bugs, total darkness and silence.<BR><BR>This was the situation faced by a young man who became lost in the woods looking for a remote wilderness walleye lake last week. He and a companion started out, both young men in their teens, with a yen to find that secret walleye bonanza we all hear about.<BR><BR> They portaged into Wind Lake, then took the trail to Washte Lake. Their goal was Witness Lake, reportedly loaded with big walleyes. Only they couldn’t find the Witness Lake trail. After hunting around, one of the young men split off to “brush crash” the hills and either find Witness Lake or the trail to it. He found neither.<BR><BR> To keep track of each other, the young men yelled back and forth which worked fine until they got a ridge between them and communication ceased.

Sun
06
Jun

Water cold, weather heating up

With the sun finally appearing this past week, anglers are hoping water temps will rise and give fishing activity a jump start. <BR><BR>Last Tuesday fishermen reported surface water temperatures of just 53 degrees on several area lakes, well below where lake temps usually are following Memorial Day.<BR><BR>But the thermometer was finally hitting 70 degrees on a regular basis and the flower planters were finally able to stop worrying about frost. Warmer temps should stimulate the fish as well.<BR><BR>The funny thing was there were several reports of anglers limiting out last week, proving that when the fish are hungry, they’re going to eat. <BR><BR>The trout seem to be the least affected by the cooler water. <BR><BR>Terry Gfeller of Ely brought in a 13 lb. 12 oz. laker off of Burntside Lake and registered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle.

Sun
30
May

Portage in style

Let us face it, canoe trips can be hard work! Anyone who has ever carried over the Horse Portage or the Four Mile will attest that a long portage can be the most difficult (and most dreaded!) part of a canoe trip. Portaging is not wildly vigorous activity but it requires constant exertion all the time from the entire body. <BR><BR>On a backwoods canoe adventure, hours of paddling and miles of portaging are part of the adventure. Paddling is an art of its own but it is not complicated. Portaging, on the other hand, is more than just slinging a heavy pack on your shoulders, a canoe on top, and then walking as far as humanly possible. <BR><BR>Like most physical activities, technique is more important than raw strength. With a few tips, anyone can become an effective portager. <BR><BR>When carrying a heavy pack check two things before beginning your hike.

Sun
30
May

Angling action picks up in windy weather

Fishing action in the Ely area picked up last week with windy weather and cooler days. Walleyes were being taken in 20 feet of water in many places and as deep as 40 feet in other places. <BR><BR>With stocking activities going on right now in many area lakes by the Minnesota DNR, it’s a reminder that many of the walleyes found across the area originated in Lake Vermilion.<BR><BR>Joe Geis, the DNR fisheries guy in Tower, explained that walleyes in different geographical areas have different genetics so they are kept apart.<BR><BR>“Walleyes in the Hudson Bay drainage are genetically different than the Mississippi River and St. Louis River drainage,” said Geis. “We only use the Pike River strain of walleyes which are in the Hudson Bay drainage. We’re doing that to maintain the genetic integrity of those stocks.”<BR><BR>The hatchery at Pike River produces around 100 million walleye eggs each year with 75 million hatching into walleye fry.

Sun
30
May

Hook and bullet club: Fishing and hitting 'em

An adult bald eagle was perched on a snag, watching us paddle into the wind, perhaps waiting to see if we would leave any goodies behind. <BR><BR>We were about 10 minutes into a 40-minute paddle and the wind was making itself known on a Sunday morning. The sky was overcast and the temps were in the upper 40s. <BR><BR>Roger aimed us toward a rocky shoreline and Jake grabbed hold of the ledge. Our first catch of the day would be several stones to fill our anchor bags. One Kondos-made mesh bag went in the front of the canoe and one in the back and we were on our way again.<BR><BR>There was company waiting for us as we turned the corner into the bay, a canoe with three people from Ely, also in search of a walleye dinner or two. <BR><BR>Unfortunately, they were smack dab in the spot we were hoping to fish. But in the fishing game, the advantage goes to those who get there first.

Mon
24
May

Walleyes start slow, pike hot

Water temps below 50 degrees on many area lakes kept the walleye sluggish but made for some great northern pike fishing on the first days of the season.<BR><BR>Area lakes were filled with boats on the 2004 fishing opener. The weather cooperated, although not right away.<BR><BR>At 6 a.m. it was a brisk 24 degrees and early morning anglers were lucky enough to scrape ice off car windshields before heading out. <BR><BR>But by noon the temperature had hit 50 and a nice day seemed possible. By 2 p.m. the wind kicked up, driving waves into the north and east shores of lakes. <BR><BR>As usual, the reports ranged from feast to famine. Most found fish out of the currents and in 16 to 18 feet of water. Minnows were working well for walleyes and the crappies started hitting mid-morning as well. <BR><BR>For those who couldn’t get the walleyes to get excited, pike fishing provided a great alternative.

Mon
24
May

Hook and bullet club gets skunked... or did they?

The opener. The most high pressure day of fishing most people will have all year. Bringing home your limit is the goal and enough fish for dinner is the expectation. <BR><BR>But somehow those goals and expectations don’t always work as a measurement of success.<BR><BR>We checked the thermometer early Saturday morning and decided we would take our time getting on the water. The temperature was below 30 degrees, which would be really good if we were going ice fishing. <BR><BR>So when we were walking through the grocery store at around 9 a.m. and were asked, “How many fish?” our answer was zero, since we hadn’t gone out yet. By the end of the day, our answer was very similar.<BR><BR>Oh, we got out on the water and fished up and down Birch Lake most of the day, but the stringer stayed in the tackle box. That’s right. Zippo. <BR><BR>The walleyes were apparently not impressed with what we had to offer.

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