Outdoors

Sun
29
Aug

Except for bass, fishing slows down

You knew it had to happen sooner or later. The fishing action in the Ely area slowed to a near crawl as lakes were flooded with plenty of food from minnows to leeches in the late summer time period.<BR><BR>The annual Ely-Winton Hawg Fishing Contest saw very few entries with the top walleye just over six pounds and the top northern under 14 pounds. <BR><BR>While the weather was cooperating, out on the water, the fish were not. <BR><BR>From Burntside to Basswood the reports were the same - slow.

Mon
23
Aug

Birdshot and backlashes

So where is the Irish bobber-watching Olympic team?<BR><BR>You didn’t know the Irish had a bobber watching team in the Olympics? Well, they don’t. But there area lot of bobber-watching fishermen in Ireland.<BR><BR>And in England, Scotland and Wales and across to the continent in France and Germany and elsewhere in the world. There are a lot more bobber watchers than there are equestrians or water polo players or any of those sports like beach volleyball which help fill the schedule of Olympics 2004 in Athens. There are even Greek bobber watchers, but they don’t get to compete.<BR><BR>In the scramble to include just about every activity known to the human race, a few, like fishing, got left out. There is shooting. All kinds of shooting competition. But not fishing. Why is it that the Olympic people like hunters but not fishermen?<BR><BR>The Olympics started in ancient Greece with competition in track and field, weights and wrestling.

Sun
22
Aug

Hook and bullet club - seasons changing

The cool nights give it away – fall is just around the corner. This may go down as being one of the shortest summers weatherwise which made it fly by all the faster. <BR><BR>We had to make a trip out to the shack last week and all the signs were in place for the best season of the year.<BR><BR>First, the bugs were nearly non-existent. Instead of having a windshield full of smooshed critters, we could actually get a clear look as we crested the hill where Bear Island Lake can be seen in the distance.<BR><BR>As the pavement turned to dirt a young sugar maple had enough of summer and had turned largely to bright red. <BR><BR>In the corner of a cutover, the tree’s red leaves stood out among the young poplar and a backdrop of pine trees. <BR><BR>We saw some yellow leaves as well and Evan, age 5, took to the game of finding “signs of fall” as we drove down the road. <BR><BR>“There’s another sign of fall,” he said.

Sun
22
Aug

Monster fish released in Ely area

It almost seems to good to be true. Still swimming in Ely area lakes are a 22-inch smallmouth, a 44-inch northern and a 31-inch walleye. <BR><BR>Each fish was caught and released by anglers visiting the area. Fisheries officials have been encouraging catch and release for many years now and their efforts are paying off.<BR><BR>This week more fish were entered into the North Country Angler fishing contest through Catch and Release than those listed as frying pan material. <BR><BR>Big fish put back means the future of our lakes is looking better than ever. Those fish will lay eggs by the millions in the years to come and provide for the next generation of fishing action.<BR><BR>Leading the way this week was the massive northern pike released by Dusty Nelson, age 17, of Waseca, MN.

Sun
15
Aug

Birdshot and backlashes - new owners at Shig-Wak Lodge

Where does one take grandkids fishing when they come to Ely for a visit? One answer is to let them pick where they want to fish, which is what we did last week. The grandkids, Alex and Isaak Sommer from Walker, Minnesota, opted for Little Long Lake. Why Little Long? Because they were up in previous years and had a great time filling the stringer with sunfish, a species in good supply at Little Long.<BR><BR>Thus it was that we arrived at Shig-Wak Resort to pick up a boat and motor previously reserved. Four of us piled into the boat - grandma Edith in the bow, Alex and Isaak amidships and grandpa in the stern with the motor.<BR><BR>The problem was, when we were there before, it was springtime and the panfish were in the east end of the lake on the sand flats adjacent to the lodge.

Sun
15
Aug

Hook and bullet club - Kettle Falls trip

“I got a bite,” I said, watching my line moving through the water. <BR><BR>“No you don’t,” said Mike, my brother-in-law who was sitting in the front of the boat.<BR><BR>“Sure I do, the current is going out and my line is going upstream,” I said.<BR><BR>We were fishing in the Canadian Channel between Kettle Falls and Rainy Lake. From here the water from Namakan Lake flows toward International Falls through some of the best walleye fishing grounds around the area. <BR><BR>“That’s not a fish, you’re probably hooked on the bottom,” said Mike.

Sun
15
Aug

Cool weather good for crappies

Following what seemed like a monsoon season in the Ely area, fishing was picking up again after nearly four days of rain.<BR><BR>But even though the weather slowed the action, crappie fishermen reported good action in area lakes. <BR><BR>The top four crappies of the week were all caught in different lakes. Minnows were the preferred bait of choice.<BR><BR>Top crappie of the week went to Joan Kramer of Elkton, MD with a 1 lb. 8 oz., 14.5-inch panfish caught on a minnow in White Iron Lake. The fish was registered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle.<BR><BR>Another 1 lb. 8 oz. crappie, this one going 14 inches on the ruler was entered at Silver Rapids Lodge by Steve Pietsch of Arizona City, AZ. A minnow was the bait.<BR><BR>Fall Lake produced a 1 lb. 5 oz. crappie for Ronald Marolt of Winton. He brought his 13.5-inch catch into The Great Outdoors to enter the contest.

Sun
08
Aug

Birdshot and backlashes - Who are environmentalists?

There may not be much more entertaining theater than that which goes on with our natural resources. The curtain went up on the political stage last week revealing an often-played remake of a production titled “Save the Wolf.”<BR><BR>Starring are various trained federal and state wildlife folk who insist the gray wolf is quite self-sufficient and is no longer in need of federal “Endangered Species” designation. Other actors in the drama include agenda-driven spokesmen for various organizations which feel just about everything on the earth is threatened with extinction, the wolf, in particular.<BR><BR>These latter are more or less labeled by the press as “environmentalists.” Significantly, they are not labeled “wildlife biologists,” “wildlife researchers” or “wildlife managers.” Everyone knows what those are because they are defined by education and expertise.

Sun
08
Aug

Hook and bullet club - Going fishin’

The fishing was good on Rainy Lake, it was the getting there that was difficult.<BR><BR>Mike e-mailed me last week and asked if we could head up to Stokes Bay that weekend as he had Friday off. We would take the oldest boys with us, Jake and Mitchell.<BR><BR>A Canadian fishing trip on short notice should be thought out before anything is agreed upon, so I typed in “yes,” hit “reply” and we were set to go.<BR><BR>Of course the old Crestliner inboard was a few steps away from being ready to go at this point. For one there was no gas tank installed and the engine had not been run since last fall. <BR><BR>I figured it would start for sure and went after getting a new tank and all new gas lines installed. This was a fun task I had been putting off for some time. Well maybe fun is a little strong. <BR><BR>After much struggling and some last-minute help, the tank was in and all the hose connections were made.

Sun
08
Aug

Catch and release catching on

Catch and Release fishing is catching on nicely in the Ely area and some real big fish were released in this week’s entries.<BR><BR>Leading the way was a nine year-old girl from Grafton, WI. Hailee Makela was fishing with her dad at the mouth of the Dead River on Burntside when she hooked into a 5 lb. 8 oz. largemouth bass. The 21-inch long bucket mouth had a 16 inch girth and hit a leech on a bare hook. The entry was made at Voyageur North and the fish was released safely back into Burntside Lake.<BR><BR>We had four smallmouth bass over 20 inches registered under Catch and Release.<BR><BR>A 21-incher was registered by Wesley Daniel Goodin of Martinsville, IN at Timber Wolf Lodge. The bass was caught on a Shad Rap crankbait in Basswood Lake.<BR><BR>Jeffrey Hirschey of Utica, MN released a 21-inch smallie back into White Iron Lake , with the entry made at Voyageur North.

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