Today commemorates the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy France. The invasion was named Operation Overload. Because of it's success in establishing a beach head, it spelled the beginning of the end for the Nazi forces. Approximately 24000 Allied forces were involved in the operation.
There were 4414 Allied deaths on that day, part of the more than 10000 casualties. There were an estimated 4000 to 9000 German casualties.
There aren't too many veterans of the conflict around any more to thank for their service. But if you get a chance, watch the movie The Longest Day. It is unbelievable what those service men faced on that day 73 years. Pretty amazing when you compare it to the things that we complain about today.
Is it just me, or is time moving extremely slow this week?
It started Monday morning as I arrived at work. It got worse when Captain called to tell me the battery is charged and the fishing vessel is ready to go. Cruising the fishing forums is slowing time down even more. Last night I picked the lures that I am bringing in my portable boxes. Spooling up some new line on the reels. I am ready to go.
I think the lead up week is worse for me this year because I haven't really been fishing since early February. Weather, work and chores have filled my time.
I am ready to go. Bring on the walleyes. The Minnesota State Holiday is just 60 hours away!
I want to thank all of the Veterans who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms in the US. Veterans who have sacrificed part of their lives, time away from loved ones, and sometimes even more. The news headlines are filled with people who, in my opinion, have absolutely no idea what a wonderful country that this is. And they are protected by the individuals who make up our military.
So, in case no one else reaches out to you today, thank you for your service and God bless you.
At a time of year when the fishing is supposed to be easy(ier), I find myself struggling to find something that works. It could be the wind direction or lack of wind. It could the timing of pressure systems. It could simply be that I don't have any idea what I am doing!
But then I look around and realize that it doesn't matter all that much whether I am catching anything. The sights this time of year are incredible. Some recent local pictures.
Memorial Day weekend is coming up and I have things like a long weekend, grilling and fishing on my mind. But as I was heading home last night, I took an extra look at the memorial in Shieldsville. I remembered to keep gratefulness to the men and women of our armed services in mind.
OUR DEBT TO THE HEROIC MEN AND VALIANT WOMEN IN THE SERVICE OF OUR COUNTRY CAN NEVER BE REPAID. THEY HAVE EARNED OUR UNDYING GRATITUDE. AMERICA WILL NEVER FORGET THEIR SACRIFICES. President Harry S. Truman
United States of America
Normandy Visitors Center
As has become tradition for a good friend Captain Dave, he invited me to the opener on Mille Lacs. I think that this makes the 10th or so opener spent on the big pond.
Mille Lacs has certainly had controversy lately, but that is not what this entry is about. It is about tradition. It is about spending time with good friends. It is about getting out on a lake on the opener and chasing my favorite fish, the walleye.
We had to be prepared for this opener. We almost had to alter our normal plans. The 2016 open water season has been declared catch and release only by the DNR. I am ok with that. It was also originally decided not to allow live bait on the lake. I am ok with that too, but we probably would have changed our plans. You see, Captain Dave likes to fish with a leech under a slip bobber on a plain red hook. Without live bait, his favorite method for fishing was out the window. We started looking over other area lakes for a slip bobber fishable lake.
Fortunately, the DNR relented and decided to allow live bait again.
The weather did not favor us this year. After a somewhat early spring, with the spawn being complete, winter roared it's ugly head. We woke on Saturday to a little snow on the boat tarp and 28 degrees. If that wasn't enough, there was also the NW wind at 15, gusting to 25. It would not be pretty out on the pond.
That's ok we are Minnesotans. We live for this stuff.
We pitched a shut out in the morning and were quite disappointed. Lots of trouble getting the anchor to hold and even more trouble getting fish interested in our baits. It never even reached 50 degrees that day.
However, the evening was a much different story. We relocated to another part of the lake, hoping to avoid some of the wind. We found a fishy looking spot and anchored. While it started slow, just before dark things got busy. We stayed out until our leeches ran out. We took our cold bodies off the lake and cranked the heat on the pickup. Another year of opener memories behind us.
The lake is an amazing resource. For all of the negativity out there about Mille Lacs, my personal opinion is that the future is promising. We caught fish from at least 3 year classes, possibly 4. And yes, most of the fish were from 2013.
I now look forward to fishing my local lakes on much nicer days. But the 2016 walleye hunt is under way
I was fishing with my bride on Labor Day. She was watching docks come in as many people were wrapping up cabin season on French Lake. She was lamenting the fact that the summer was coming to a close.
I reminded her that this is our season. September promises the start of fall colors, better fishing and football. Ok, that last one didn't impress her one bit. I have already found that fish are more aggressive. The area lakes are filled with hungry fish. They are smacking jigs tipped with fatheads - orange seemed to be the color yesterday. No longer are they picky and I can usually put a nice walleye in the live well.
October (hopefully) means the end of mosquitoes and less yard work. Nice fall days are followed by crisp nights.
This year, mowing has become a tedious chore. While the farmers may have liked all of the rains this year, my lawn does too and I am tired of mowing every 5 days.
The fishing should continue to be good and I fully intend to put more hours in the boat in the coming month. Get out and enjoy, winter will be here soon enough.
The other day on my way home from work, I noticed that a new deer crossing sign had been put up along a road. This was at a location that I had passed for 15+ on my way to and from work, and I can't recall ever seeing a deer there. I started wondering how the county, MN DOT, or MN DNR decides to put up a new deer crossing warning. As it turns out, I decided that this particular sign had been put up by a private party because on my way to work the next morning, I noticed that the crossing was marked with a sign on the left side, which is not something that a government entity would have done.
Anyway, my curiosity still led me to do a little research. It turns out that the MN DOT no longer puts up new signs because they are not effective (deer can't read anyways). They are experimenting with signs that include motion detectors and lights.
MnDOT’s position Since 2005, MnDOT ‘s policy has been not to install new deer crossing warning signs and to remove existing signs that have reached the end of their useful life.. MnDOT is researching other methods that may result in fewer deer-vehicle crashes. In 2001, MnDOT installed a deer detection warning system on Highway 23 in Marshall. The system uses the standard deer crossing warning sign in conjunction with beacon that flashes when deer movement is detected. The system was upgraded in 2007 and shows a 33- 57 percent reduction in deer-vehicle crashes. More information on the sign can be found here: www.dot.state.mn.us/guidestar/2006_2010/deer_detection_and_warning_system.html