Mid-November Minnesota fishing

Dusk Mille Lacs Lake_Staats 11673Climate change, global warming, el nino – for whatever reason, today had the promise of sunshine and temperatures in the 50’s – almost unheard of  for mid-November in Minnesota.  Last year at this time we had a layer of snow and highs near 30 degrees.  So when a day comes like today, it warrants savoring.  We drove north to Mille Lacs Lake and set out for some end of the season fishing.  On the south side of the lake we were protected from the wind that was blowing across the cooling lake.  Although we came up short for our fishing luck, we considered ourselves enormously fortunate for being able to enjoy a beautiful day on a big lake.  As we were pulling off the lake, the sun was starting to set and painting the sky with beautiful shades of blue and pink.  The bare trees, the blue water, and the rocks along the shore all seemed to be celebrating this unusual day for mid-November in Minnesota.

Sunset on the lake

Mille Lacs Lake sunset 7D 1933_StaasWe were lucky to have family from Kansas visiting us in Minnesota this past weekend.  Knowing that they are all avid fishermen we decided to share some of the wonderful lake fishing we have in our state of 10,000+ lakes.  Yesterday started with some (successful) Northern Pike fishing on a small lake near the Twin Cities.  Then we headed north for an evening launch on Mille Lacs Lake.  After a day of clouds and overcast skies and even a few raindrops, we were hopeful our trip on the big lake would not be rained out.  As luck would have it, the clouds parted and  we enjoyed some sun, blue skies, and a wonderful sunset over the lake.  As luck would not have it, our fishing success was somewhat limited; one perch, and a couple of walleye that were too big to keep.  But we did keep the experience of a shared night of fun, laughter, a beautiful sunset, and the camaraderie of family and friends.  Thanks to them all for a memorable weekend!

In the middle of the lake

The past week was all about winter here in the Twin Cities.  It was the St. Paul Winter Carnival with its ice and snow sculptures along with all the outdoor activities associated with the event.  I was fortunate to have a dear friend from the Seattle area here visiting (yes, people really do come to Minnesota for vacations!).  I wanted to show her something that’s unique to our area in the winter time besides all the piles of snow that are gracing our urban landscape.  So we headed north to the second largest lake in the state, Mille Lacs.  We got our road pass for the day and drove four plus miles out into the lake on the ice road.  How bizarre to look at my GPS and see the car symbol surrounded by blue water!  Just a reminder that there really is a lake underneath this layer of ice.  The lake is filled with fish houses now, as far as the eye can see.  Some are sitting out all by themselves, and others are close together forming their own little villages.  Although we didn’t see any large piles of fish sitting nearby, I’m sure the fishing must have been good on this blue-sky day.