Yes, our first canoe fishing trip of the season was successful! We covered 2 different lakes, but the first lake was a very short journey. We started the morning by checking out a small lake a few miles down the road from us. After paddling all the way across the lake to find out it wasn’t more than 4 to 5 feet deep, we pulled the canoe out and headed for a familiar lake a few mile further away.
Getting Back To Our First Canoe Fishing Spot In Minnesota
I knew right where to go, once we got the canoe in the water. There is a bit of a point just across from the boat launch that drops off quick, but the shore is lined with lily pads and cat tails. We headed across and dropped our anchor. I personally like to drift, but I find it a lot easier to just drop the anchor when the kids are in the canoe. Reid immediately hooked into a nice blue gill with his #8 hook and sinker set up. Kyle had the same set up, but I think it was sitting right on the bottom and took a little while before he brought one in.
Meanwhile, I was getting myself set up with a rapala to do some casting along the shoreline. It was an overcast day, but I threw on my go to floating shallow diver that is silver with a light blue back on it. On about the 10th cast up near the lily pads, I had a nice little small mouth jump on it. I knew he was going to hit it. He came out of the water a couple feet away from where my lure landed and he hit it just as I started to reel. I thought about keeping him, but then he shook out of my hand and off into the water.
I handed the rod to Lynn, so she could do some casting and I set up another rod with a hook and bobber to cast up closer. The kids were not getting any more bites, but we had drifted out to the end of our anchor line and were a bit off the shore at this point. I tossed the bobber up closer as a little test and sure enough, I was able to pull a couple sunfish in right away. We pulled up the anchor and paddled up real close to the edge of the lily pads before dropping it back in.
I handed the line with the bobber over to Lynn at this point and tried out a little deeper diving rapala that was silver and black. I actually had a crappie hit it, but lost him right near the side of the canoe. I cast for a little longer, but kept pulling up weeds and went back to my shallow diver with blue. The kids were pulling in a mix of sunfish and blue gills at this point and were staying entertained. I spent a little time teaching Kyle how to cast with the larger open face reel, but that is tough to do with 4 of us in a canoe. He eventually went back to his simple hook and sinker.
We had stacked up enough sunfish and blue gill for a meal at this point and I did some more casting. I had a nice hit and it dragged the line right to the bottom. I figured it was a nice northern pike. Sure enough it was as I pulled him near the surface, just before started ripping line out again in another dive. Lynn and the boys all pulled their lines up, so we didn’t end up with a tangled mess as I finessed the pike. I had him up near the boat a couple times and then he dove back to the bottom again.
I tried to net him one time, but the net folded back under him. The net is one of those foldable and collapsable nets and it wasn’t locked in. Lynn got the net locked in and took another stab at the pike as I pulled him back up again. She was able to get him in the net and almost hit me in the face with the netted up pike and rapala as she swung it into the canoe. This fish was mad and scared the boys a bit as it slammed the floor of the canoe a few times right at their feet.
It was a nice northern pike around 28″ and would be perfect for dinner. I debated tossing him back in, but I haven’t had a northern in a really long time. I kept him as it would be the perfect dinner for the 4 of us and we could save the blue gill for dinner later in the week. The boys were really excited about their blue gill, because they caught all the blue gill with worms they found in the back yard. They have a worm farm box that they had collected a bunch of worms in while we were digging holes for a bunch of trees we planted a few weeks ago.
The boys had been asking about going fishing the last couple weekends and I was glad I could get them out. I thought we would outgrow our canoe by now, but it is still working out great and I think it will get us through another summer without a problem. Speaking of summer… We’re not quite there yet and I’m looking forward to a few more of these trips. We were really only gone for a few hours in total. It is nice to have so many lakes around us to be able to get a quick fishing trip in without taking up the entire day. We’ll keep you posted on our outdoor adventures throughout the summer and in the mean time, we would like to hear about your fishing stories. Head on over to our Facebook Page and post up some of your fishing pictures and stories.
Also, I can’t end this post without mentioning this… It is Memorial Day Weekend and many of us are spending time with family, fishing, biking, camping or whatever it is that you do with your friends and family. Many things we do for recreation are done in other places of the world under dangerous conditions and for pure survival from day to day. The way we enjoy these things as recreation would not be possible without the Men and Women that have fought and still do fight today to defend the freedoms we have in this country.
Words are not enough, but Thank You for defending our freedom so that I can have the opportunity to safely take my family out on a trip like this, not to mention do all the other fun things that we do. I hope you all had a nice weekend, but don’t pass the weekend up without thinking of those families that have an empty seat at their picnic table, in their canoe or on their patio from a loved one that gave their life so you and I could enjoy a long weekend with our families.