This past week we have received some much needed rain, which is good news for the state’s lakes, rivers and streams. A lack of significant snowfall this winter has made this rain even more welcome and even with the recent rainfall we have not yet been removed from the drought category.
Last week I mentioned my bird feeders and the problem that I have with squirrels and blackbirds. The other day I decided to purchase some safflower seeds which is supposed to be a deterrent to blackbirds. It is said that they do not like them. Shortly after filling the feeder I witnessed blackbirds and starlings flocking (pun intended) to partake in a meal. It appeared to me that they had not gotten the memo about them not liking said seeds. I did not watch the feeder that closely the remainder of the day and I have not seen any of those particular birds revisiting it so maybe they figured it out.
As the 2015 fishing opener draws closer I am getting that urge to wet a line. I can envision myself catching a nice mess of perch or crappie so I will have to make that reality and give it a try. Looking back over the years the middle of April has been pretty productive for crappie if you can find them. I do remember one particular year in the late ‘70s when they were biting like mad below the dam. Now I’m not talking 8-inchers, but real slabs. This only lasted about a week at the most but the bite was fantastic while it lasted. Another good place that used to produce was that shallow bay on the west end of Edgewater by old Highway 13.
Yes the shore fishing for crappies was pretty darned good a few years ago and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be again. It’s really all about being in the right place at the right time, which is actually what fishing is all about in the first place.
In 1971, the spring after my wife and I were married, we, along with some of our friends, would fish the creek that runs into the west end of Edgewater Bay. One of our group would stop and buy some minnows right after work and we’d meet at “our spot” hoping that someone hadn’t beaten us to it. The crappie fishing was fantastic and we would usually limit out within a couple of hours. It was fun and cheap entertainment for a bunch of young folks who loved to fish. The crappies weren’t slabs by any stretch of the imagination, but they were eaters and mighty tasty to boot.
The best fishing usually lasted for about two weeks and then tapered off. I worked Saturdays at that time and had a day off during the week. On that day off I would get up early and head to that spot to try my luck; first for crappies and, as the morning moved on, I’d cast for northern. It wasn’t as productive as it had been early on, but I still managed to catch a crappie or two and an occasional pike. It was all good and I couldn’t think of a better way to start off the day. Where did I put my crappie rod anyway?
Mille Lacs walleye limit to 1; night muskie and bow fishing allowed
Mille Lacs Lake anglers will be able to keep one walleye 19 to 21 inches long or one over 28 inches when fishing opens on Saturday, May 9, and an extended night fishing closure will again be in effect beginning the Monday after the opener, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
The restrictive walleye regulations are necessary to keep walleye harvest within the lake’s established safe harvest level.
“The new regulations reflect our commitment to improve the walleye fishery as quickly as possible and stay within the state’s 1837 Treaty safe harvest allocation yet continue to provide walleye angling opportunities,” said Don Pereira, fisheries chief for the DNR.
The 2015 regulations for Mille Lacs Lake are:
Walleye – Limit of one and the fish must be 19 to 21 inches long or longer than 28 inches. Night closure from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. May 11 to Dec. 1.
Northern pike – Limit of 10. One fish may be longer than 30 inches only if two fish shorter than 30 inches are caught on the same trip and in possession.
Bass – Limit of six smallmouth and largemouth bass in combination. Only one smallmouth bass may be longer than 18 inches.
Mille Lacs’ 2015 walleye safe harvest level was reduced from 60,000 to 40,000 pounds in 2015 so more fish potentially survive and spawn to improve the walleye population. State anglers can harvest up to 28,600 pounds of walleye. The eight Chippewa bands with 1837 Treaty harvest rights can harvest up to 11,400 pounds of walleye.
Last year, Mille Lacs anglers could keep two walleye 18- to 20-inches long or one longer than 28 inches.
A night fishing closure, enforced from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., will begin Monday, May 11, and extend to Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Until next time, it’s a great time to do a little early season crappie fishing and enjoy the outdoors at the same time.
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