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It took me a while, but I do believe I have actually gotten excited about fishing. I’d guess the smell of dead fish that occasionally finds its way to our neighborhood from Albert Lea Lake when the wind is from the right (wrong) direction may have influenced my lack of exuberance for fishing. I do believe that I have now dealt with it and moved on and I can only hope the odor will soon do the same.

Spring is the season I always look upon as a re-birth of another season of outdoors activities. The smell of spring, especially after a rain, can be exhilarating, and coupled with a little sunshine, it will definitely put some extra spring in your step. It is funny how each season can actually have a smell all its own, although I still haven’t actually nailed down a sure-fire smell for winter yet. I’d guess that if you are outside in the late fall or winter and have a wood stove or fireplace blazing in the house or cabin, then the smell of that wood burning would symbolize winter for me.

The other day as I was driving around Fountain Lake I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of folks fishing by Blackmore Bridge and even from the shores of Dane Bay. The crappie fishing has been pretty good this spring which, no doubt, has re-kindled my excitement for fishing. I sometimes don’t believe that we appreciate how lucky we really are to live in a city that surrounds a pretty darned good fishing lake.

As a kid growing up north of town I can remember the excitement I felt when I was allowed to ride my bike to town for the first time with fishing pole in tow. I held a can of worms in one hand and fastened my fishing pole to the bike frame with the end sticking out in front, almost feeling like Sir Lancelot on a jest. My tackle box consisted of an old Buss fuse box with a couple of hooks and lead sinkers inside. I had a cork bobber or two in my pocket and 25 cents for a treat.

I would spend a good chunk of the day climbing around under the dam catching bluegills, crappies and bullheads. In the course of a day I would usually fish most of the shore from the dam to the beach. I can’t really remember ever getting hungry or thirsty until it was time to head home. I would quench my thirst with that ice cold water you could get at the creamery and for my 25 cents I would usually get a chocolate marshmallow sundae, my favorite.

Now that I am in fishing mode and anxious to make that first next cast, I will need to make sure all my reels have new line on them. Once that is done I will indeed be ready for “Mr. Lunker.” I usually spend a cold winter day or two cleaning my tackle box and putting new line on my reels, but this year I put it off and before I knew it the opener was here and nothing was done.

After attending the Governor’s Fishing Opener I will be heading north to the cabin for a few days to see how it fared in the hard winter that we have just put behind us. Fishing will not be my number one priority for this short stay but, knowing me, I will be wetting a line a couple of times if the ice is indeed out on the area lakes I like to fish. Just because the walleye and northern season is now, crappie and perch are still very good early-season table fare. My mouth starts to water when I just think about the sight of those tasty morsels browning in the skillet.

Each year as the time approaches to open the cabin I feel a little anxious in not knowing what I will find. I am hoping there are no trees down across the driveway or that one has not fallen on the cabin. In the past I have encountered numerous downed trees and some pretty near-misses when it comes to the cabin. Whatever little obstacles I may encounter I am looking forward to another fun year spending time in the north woods.


The May meeting of Crossroads Chapter 54, Muskies Inc. will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, May 14th at the Eagles Club in Owatonna.

Our speaker will be the new Fisheries Manager, for Waterville Fish Hatchery. Our meeting includes informative speakers, updates, door prizes, raffle and lot of musky talk. Need not be a member to attend. Bring a friend, help improve musky fishing in Southern Minnesota.

Until next time; any time is a great time to enjoy a little fishing on one of our area lakes but no matter when or where you plan to fish be safe and if you’re in a boat always wear your life jacket.

Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because they are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today. 

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