We're headed up nort' this Memorial Day weekend to visit our oldest son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Barnes, WI, just north of Hayward.
Big things are planned - an old-fashioned outdoors fish fry, golf, turkey calling, and of course, fishing. The girls mentioned something about a shopping trip to Hayward for them, too.
Jon's and Sara's cabin is on Turtle Lake, which froze out years ago, but has rebounded quickly, particularly the last two years. Lake levels have increased so much that "The Kids" had to add two more lengths to their aluminum dock this spring.
The lake has not only added more water, but more fish, too. We caught some 8- and 9-inch sunfish last year fishing right off the dock. However, the grandsons said they haven't had any luck so far this spring.
Jackson, 12, sent me a text earlier this week, stating "We heard a couple of old-timers at the bait shop say that the water isn't warm enough yet."
Closer to home, fishing gets better each day at Ol' Tom's boathouse off French Island. So far this spring, I've caught sunfish, perch, bluegills, rock bass, northern pike, sheepshead and bass, including a 17-inch largemouth last weekend.
Meanwhile, across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, stationed in La Crescent, spent the week checking anglers and ATV operators.
Two recent alcohol-related ATV crashes that resulted in serious injuries are unfortunate reminders of the danger of mixing alcohol and riding.
Bass and northern pike fishing has been picking up and some anglers are finding limits of sunfish. Enforcement action was taken for anglers taking an over-limit of sunfish, using extra lines and fishing without licenses.
DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports a busy week of fishing with limits of sunfish, crappies, bass and walleyes checked.
There were very few people continuing to turkey hunt, and mushroom hunting was slow.
All waters and state properties continue to see very high usage. There were several baby and nuisance-wild-animal calls.
DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, in Rushford, reports checking anglers on area trout streams. Success was fair to good. Violations encountered were no license and no trout stamp.
Time was also spent patrolling state forest campgrounds and day areas. Enforcement action was taken for illegal operation of a motor vehicle.
Boyum also checked ATV complaint areas and trails. Compliance was good.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.