Where to begin? Life on the water has been a treat. Less time in front of a PC and more time in front of the fish. That's how things have gone, and that's how I like it! Rather than get into the details of every outing, I'll just recap of few of my favorite events.
A few fishy fella's from Texas made a two day adventure to Minnesota in search of our state fish. A tough road and some interesting storms made for a rewarding finish when Don, "the birthday man," hooked into the first walleye of his life. His effort was worth gold and he took home his first "fresh walleye" dinner.
Crankbaits and walleyes continue to go hand in hand. The cool weather has locked the lake temperature between 59 and 62 degrees. The weeds have yet to grow tall, and the crankbaits are still kicking out fish after dark. This is still my favorite spring technique. We continue to throw back the big ones and the walleye smiles aren't soon growing old.
After 11 trips, I managed to find the first skunk of the year. No walleyes in the boat came as a surprise that night. What appeared to be ideal conditions, were only true for the anglers. But, that's ok. It turns out that a walleye skunk isn't always a bad thing. My favorite fish made an appearance, and that night I crossed my first muskie off the list for 2011.
Memorial Day weekend has also come and gone. I spent the majority of it with my fishin' pals. After nearly 2 decades of traveling north, I stuck around home for some local flavor. With ridiculous results up north every year, my expectations were lower for the weekend at home. Boy, was I wrong. The bass were eager and several of them on the large side. The walleyes were hungry and we mixed between big ones and perfect eaters. Nobody was complaining!
Even though the walleyes and bass were both great, the biggest surprise came from a school of giant crappies. It was easily the best action I've had on a metro lake in years. The school of crappie was small, but they averaged a pound in size and bigger. If we were "up north," this would be the norm, but on my home water this is a huge treat. We hooked one after another and never found one under 3/4 of a pound. Needless to say our fish fry was a memorable one.
As I look back on the first two weeks of the 2011 season, several things come to mind. First, I am reminded how lucky I am to make my passion my career. The people I meet and the fishy memories will never grow old. Second, I think mother nature is out to make us better anglers. Every day has had a twist and this funky weather has kept me on my toes. I believe the experiences from this odd spring will only make me a better guide for the future. Lastly, I am fully energized for another great season on the water. In a few short days my favorite season will open. I will close this journal by saying four short words. Muskies, are you ready?