Opening Cast – July 2022

Opening Cast

PUBLISHER

Dan Dannenmueller

EDITOR

Richard Simms

SR. WRITER

Tim Huffman

ART/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matt Mullikin

GUEST WRITERS

Keith Sutton
Darl Black
Ron Wong
Larry Whiteley
Vernon Summerlin
Brad Wiegmann
Lindsey Lucas

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Cover Photo Credit

A pretty morning on Jackson Lake, Elmore County Alabama this photo was captured by Ron Wong

CrappieNOW Editor Richard Simms was proud of his first-ever crappie captured beneath the ice. But the planning for his January adventure began many months before the water turned hard. (Photo: Scott MacKenthun)
CrappieNOW Editor Richard Simms was proud of his first-ever crappie captured beneath the ice. But the planning for his January adventure began many months before the water turned hard. (Photo: Scott MacKenthun)

OK, wherever you live it is July, which means it is likely as hot as blue blazes. Even if you are an ice fisherman, you’re not thinking about it now. And if you are not an ice fisherman, no way has the thought of hard water occurred to you.

But perhaps it should?

In January I made my first ever ice fishing foray in Minnesota, but planning for the trip began months in advance. I was very fortunate to have CrappieNOW writer Scott MacKenthun to help map out a plan for fishing. But besides ice fishing, my wife, Barbara, and I wanted to experience more of Minnesota.

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources provides numerous lakes for public access. (Photo: Richard Simms)
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources provides numerous lakes for public access. (Photo: Richard Simms)

That took some research, and in some cases, booking our accommodations and adventures well in advance. Probably tops on our adventure list was a 50-mile snowmobile excursion through the Superior National Forest near Ely, Minnesota. We called upon Lossings Powersports for our snowmobile rental and guide.

For fishing, it is really easy to freelance on your own, especially if you are the adventurous type. There is a ton of public water (or ice) and you can equip yourself for a relatively small cost. Some Minnesota state parks even offer equipment you can borrow. Visit this Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources website to learn more.

Adam Griffith with Griffith Outdoors loves to guide for Minnesota crappie year-round. But he especially prefers searching for, and finding, trophy-sized slabs under the ice. (Contributed Photo)
Adam Griffith with Griffith Outdoors loves to guide for Minnesota crappie year-round. But he especially prefers searching for, and finding, trophy-sized slabs under the ice. (Contributed Photo)

Or there are lots of professional fishing guides and services available. I was fortunate to fish one day with Adam Griffith of Griffith Outdoors. Adam crappie fishes year-round. But he really prefers stalking monster slab crappie under the ice.

There are also many businesses that rent very fancy ice fishing shacks and shanties you can literally live in for a few days and fish around the clock. But I started checking into those too late and found that when I did, many had been booked up well in advance.

So, the moral of the story is, don’t wait until it turns cold to start thinking about a winter ice fishing adventure. Maybe you are sweating bullets right now, but when the water turns hard enough, southern visitors need to already have a plan in place.

 

If you’ve got more questions about our Minnesota excursion, feel free to send me an e-mail.

 

 

Richard Simms, Editor

“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”

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