NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Latest New Richland, Minnesota, weather

That chubby little rodent named Phil has once again predicted six more weeks of winter. As was pointed out by one of our local radio station DJ’s the calendar has winter ending just a few days after the predicted six weeks so there is really no risk involved in that prediction unless we have an early spring. An early spring is what was reportedly forecast by another of our furry prognosticators from Wisconsin. It seems that as the mayor of Sun Prairie Wisconsin was telling the media about their groundhog named Jimmy’s prediction of an early spring Jimmy must have had enough of the nonsense and bit the mayor on the ear. In all reality the mayor had it wrong and I suppose that that particular chubby little rodent was just letting him know so. I know that there is a long tradition of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of spring and whether it will be early or late but really? I sometimes wonder if the weather folks aren’t consulting with Phil at times.

February is a time for cabin fever and planning for spring and summer. This is the month when I usually start opening my tackle boxes and take inventory. This is a necessity and it helps keep my mind off the fact that spring is still a ways away and open water fishing might be even farther off.

Oh how I long for some open water to wet a line in about now. I guess I will have to settle for closing my eyes and doing a little daydreaming. If I listen closely I can hear the wind blowing as the waves of the lake rush gently to shore. The sound of loons calling brings about a peaceful feeling that is, to me, the true sound of the North Country.

I long for the day that I will be once again sitting in a boat on some remote lake in Northern Minnesota as a light fog engulfs the lake just before the morning sun makes its appearance. This is the time of day that I dream of; when I am alone on the lake in early morning with only the sound of an occasional fish jumping or the early morning of loons calling. This is a peaceful time where material things are unimportant and although fishing is the objective enjoying that fleeting moment is the ultimate in total satisfaction.

I can recall many times when I have ventured out onto my favorite lake (Spider) in early morning with a layer of fog hovering just inches above the water’s surface. This is always a scary time for navigating any distance on a lake but if a person knows the lake and doesn’t get in a hurry it can be rewarding once you reach your chosen “hot spot” where you anticipate a fish on almost every cast. It is kind of funny how big fish sound when they jump and you are unable to see them because of the fog. As the fog slowly lifts you begin to see the shoreline and the sounds of fish jumping are verified by the ripples that they send off.

This is the time of day that can really get the adrenaline flowing but there is only a short time period when that happens so it is important for me to be on the lake to savor every glorious moment. This is when the sun first starts to peek through the tree line working its way to the peak of day that some old timers would call high noon. Yes, at times it was almost sad to see the sun appear and be fully visible above the tree lines. In the mid or late summer days the noon sun is usually hot and unless you know some great secret it is usually not the most productive time to be on the lake.

Like anything else in nature fishing can always be a little unpredictable. Over the years I have seen many things that are totally against what the so-called experts tell us we should or should not do to catch fish. This is what makes fishing so much fun; there is always a little mystery involved that keeps us coming back.

Other variables that will peak the interest are what lures or bait to use under certain conditions. I have fished with my favorite lure that only a week or so ago was a “killer bait” and not caught a thing in the same exact spot that I fished previously. This is truly one of the things that make fishing fun for me; the unknown or the X- factor.

There is still plenty of hard water fishing to be had and we not only have a good fishery right in our own back yard but St. Olaf and Beaver Lakes are other nearby lakes that can be good at times. I have also heard that Clear Lake in Waseca was pretty hot for crappie only a week or so ago.

The February meeting of Cross Roads Chapter 54 of Muskies Inc. was Wednesday, February 11 at 7 p.m. at Eagles Club in Owatonna. Our meetings are second Wednesday of every month and include raffle, door prizes, updates and announcements, informative speaker as available. Also lots of musky talk. Need not be a member to attend. Bring a friend and help improve musky fishing in Southern Minnesota.

Until next time, stay warm and enjoy the beauty of winter and always take some time to enjoy the outdoors.

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

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