It has been a great couple of weeks of fishing on Lake Vermilion, in the north woods of northern Minnesota. All the fish have been biting and the only sound I hear is the call of the loon out in the bay directly off the deck of my cottage.
The lake water level is very high this year due to a very late thaw (the lake was declared completely clear of ice May 24), very thick ice pack and a very wet spring season. There were still flood warnings out for the Rainey River just to the north when we arrived. High water makes for better fishing because the water, farther up on the shore, brings new food into the food chain. More fish stay shallow as a result, which makes them easier to catch than in deep water.
The first week here was exciting because I had the company of my niece and her two sons for fishing partners in my boat. We would go out for a couple of hours in the late morning and head down the main bay to a small back bay with a good green weed growth. The four of us would get out our light tackle and go float fishing for bluegill and crappie. Some days the wind made it difficult to sit and fish. We would try to anchor, but it was hard to get the anchor to hold us, so we settled for the anchor slowing our drift. We did pretty well, considering the wind – we took home and cleaned 50 bluegills and 25 crappies, having thrown back probably twice that number as too small. It was a pretty good run for four days, with a great fish fry at the end of the week.
I had a special treat for two days when my great-nephew asked me to show him how to catch some big fish before he had to leave. We had a great time together. He boated his first 2.5-pound largemouth on Thursday and followed up with another nice bass on Friday.
It is such a great feeling to pass on the thrill of fishing to yet another generation. My grandfather, my great-nephew’s great-great-grandfather, is looking down on us and smiling, I’m sure. Thanks for teaching me, Pops.
Heading back to Evanston next week; until then…keep a tight line.
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