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Our second week in the northland started out with a dramatic shift in the wind making fishing on our lake a lot more challenging.

The week began with 20-25 mph winds blowing straight down the length of the lake creating 2-3 foot waves and that makes trying to slowly work docks and weed edges almost impossible. The option we chose was to move off the main lake and fish in the wind-protected small bays in search of bluegills and crappie. This turned out to be a good plan and we were able to get enough bluegills and a few crappies for dinner each day.

We took a day off to do a little family sightseeing. We drove to the other side of the lake (45 miles) to Ely, Minn., to visit the International Wolf Center to see the resident wolf pack. We had a great time and were able to see several of the wolves on our visit.

We then decided we also wanted to see the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary and were going to take the 60-plus-mile drive through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Echo Trail. What an amazing drive through some of finest unspoiled forests and lakes in our country.

Our family really loves the Vince Shute Sanctuary. We’ve been going there for more than 18 years, and it’s always special. Visitors park their cars and are bused four miles to a meadow in the woods and then escorted onto a 20-foot-high platform, for their protection.

This is not tourist hype. In the meadow and surrounding grounds live 30 to 40 wild black bears and bear cubs that have been coming into the meadow for food for more than 50 years. It is a treat to see the bears in their natural settings and see their interactions with each other. The history of the Sanctuary and current events is available at www.americanbear.org.

For the rest of our vacation, the winds died down and fishing was outstanding. This was one of the best years fishing we have had there, with 6-8 bass each day that were more than four pounds, and a lot of northern pike every day.

Back to Evanston now and fishing in the area. I’ll update all the fishing areas next time.

Until then…keep a tight line.