Now that the ice is out and we are well into our first week of the season, I thought I would do another update. As you know, the walleye fishing season opened on Saturday. Our drive-in guests arrived Friday afternoon and Saturday morning filling up most cabins at our three drive-in resorts. For the first time in 30 years, our guests arrived to find ice on the lakes, no boats in the water, and no docks set up. They were pre-warned, but most decided to come anyway with hopes that the ice would melt within the first few days of their stay. The following three pictures were taken the morning of walleye opener at Northern Lights Resort on Cedar.
Thankfully, at Northern Lights Resort on Cedar lake, the ice went out on most of the lake by Saturday evening. Our guests were able to get out fishing by Saturday afternoon and despite the unseasonable spring, the fishing has been absolutely fantastic! They've been having to dodge a few ice bergs, but the fish are biting so that is all that matters. We had our first camp cookout at Northern Lights Resort last night and all of the guests had nothing but good fishing reports to share. They are catching and releasing hundreds of walleye daily, mainly in shallow water they said. A couple of people even caught a couple of 28" and 29" walleyes.
At Clark's Camp and K.C.'s Landing on Edward Lake, the ice hung on a little longer. Most of the lake was ice-free by Sunday evening and the docks and boats were put in the water on Monday. The guests were happy to finally be able to get out on the lake and the fishing on the chain has been excellent as well. Our first camp cookout of the season is happening right now at K.C.'s Landing so I will be anxious to hear what the guests had to say about the fishing.
Our fly-out guests were slightly delayed as well, but not as much as we had originally thought they would be. The two parties that were supposed to fly out on Saturday, flew out Sunday to Otatakan and to Antenna. The ice was only half-out on Otatakan and on Antenna there were still ice chunks around the shore. The ice didn't matter to them - they were so excited to get on the lakes and start chasing those big Northern. Our next fly-out group is patiently waiting here at Northern Lights Resort today for the fog to lift so that they can fly to Meen Lake.
If the late ice-out wasn't enough to set us back, the fog for the last two days has sure put a hold on our operation. No flying, means to minnow trapping, and so our minnow orders are piling up. Up until yesterday, we had been able to keep up with the minnow orders, so hopefully after today we can start delivering again and get back on track. The forecast is looking pretty nice after today... we sure deserve some sun and warmth! Another thing that has been slowing us down with the minnows is a shortage of airplanes. Three of our planes are still iced in in Red Lake. Howie Bay is still iced over, but we are hoping to be able to get the planes in the next day or two.
This late spring has certainly set us way behind and it will be very hard to catch up. A lot goes into getting these camps (and fly-ins) running and there are so many chores and projects that we'd like to get done over the summer. Luckily, we've got a great team of workers at all of our locations and so we know we will get caught up eventually!
Until next time,