Monday, March 30, 2020

Nolan's Big Catch - Summer 2019

One sunny, late July afternoon we decided to head up to Breezy Point.  It’s a short boat ride, since it’s only about 10-15 cottages north of us.  When we arrived we beached the boat where Mom decided to read, while “The Guys” fished.  As you know, it’s very shallow and weedy in spots - perfect hiding for fish.  We eventually ran out of crawlers so we debated between lures or clams, which we eventually decided to use on a standard Eagle Claw hook. 

While the minnows were nibbling our toes, we saw a lot of action, pulling out several perch, rock bass, bluegill, and some smaller smallmouth bass.  Before I knew it, I had a big boy on!  Just days prior, I had a huge largemouth bass break free about five feet from shore.  Today, I wasn’t gonna lose another one so I decided to keep the rod and line close to the bottom instead of reeling fast and pulling hard.  Finally it came to the surface and just as it hit the sand it broke free.  I scrambled to corral it by building a wall of sand.  Eventually I got a handle on it.  Here’s a picture of my brother, Liam, and I.  FYI, we released it.  Hopefully someone else will have an opportunity to catch it as well.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Liam’s Big Catch - Summer 2017

From time to time we receive pictures of Long Lake kids and their fishing stories. We post them as we can.. (LongLakeLiving website managers)

Liam's Fish Story:
Every summer we go to my cottage - The Bluebird.  It’s been in my family for ninety years.

On our first day, not long after arriving, we headed out on to the lake.  It was early evening and the weather was windy and cool for late July.  We motored south of Breezy Point along Chippewa Loop where I decided it was a good place to shut her down and drift.  That day I decided to use some type of plug lure with a nightcrawler.  I dropped my line into the water.  We weren’t there for very long before I got a bite.  I started reeling it in even though Mom said, “You don’t have a fish on - so just stop!”.  But I knew better!  After a minute or two, without putting up much of a fight, I pulled in a walleye about half my size.  I was only five years old at the time.  Here’s a picture of me with my big catch.


From Liam's dad.  He'll someday be the sixth generation to own our cottage, and he, as I, loves Long Lake and the time spent there - regardless of the 15 hours it takes to arrive!

Ice Out Update

Since the Long Lake webcam is still being repaired.. I thought I would post an update on the ice conditions as of 3/30/2020.  As you can see from these short videos, the ice seems to be changing colors..and in some spots the ice is beginning to melt away from the shoreline.  I also noticed what might be some ice that has been pushed up on the East shore.  (It could be just snow that slid down the bank too.)
The temperature was up to about 47 degrees and if we would get a little rain, that would help the ice out too. 



As for our Ice Out contest deadline on March 26th, we have 8 guesses for Ice Out ranging from April 6th to July 4th.. We will see who gets bragging rights.  We will draw for the quilt at the Annual Meeting at the end of June.

We will keep everyone posted as to ice conditions.


As you can see in this last video, there was a fellow out ice fishing. He was riding a 4 wheeler.. He surprised me, as I was shooting the video, by coming around Breezy Point.

****************************************************************
From an article in the Star Tribune 3/29/2020:

"At least we have ice-out to anticipate: A quicker melt than last year could mean an earlier return to lake recreation. 
- By DAVID CHANEN, david.chanen@startribune.com

"So a little bit of good news: It appears ice-outs across Minnesota are about a week ahead of schedule.
At least 16 lakes, mostly in the southern part of the state, have lost their ice. Lake Minnetonka is expected to have its ice-out within the week, much earlier than last year’s April 20.
Grays and Excelsior bays on Lake Minnetonka are open, but the ice on most of the lake’s 37 bays and channels is still 4 to 8 inches thick, said Lt. Shane Magnuson of the Hennepin County Water Patrol." "

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Time to Think Spring! When is the Ice going Out on Long Lake?


This year's prize
Join the fun! Guess the “Ice Out” date for Long Lake this spring!

To participate in the fun, please send your guess to longlakeliving@gmail.com. 

The deadline for guesses is March 26. (This date is the earliest the ice has gone off the lake since we have been keeping our charts..it was in 2012)

All those selecting the winning date will be recognized.  A final drawing, by an unbiased observer, from ALL participant's names will select one participant to receive the prize (donated by Monika Wilkins) which will be awarded at the LLAA Annual Meeting in 2020.

Good Luck to all!



Here are some hints to help you pick your date:
(The second link has all the Long Lake data since 1989.)
  1. Link to article from DNR about 2020 thin ice
  2. Link to Ice Data page on Long Lake Living

Monday, February 24, 2020

Do You Ice Fish? - Don’t Leave Litter When You Go

Information from News Release by DNR for February 20, 2020

Cigarette butts. Propane canisters. Cans, bags and bottles – some full of human waste. Blocking materials. Fish carcasses. Those are just a few of the items that make up the long list of litter conservation officers have found out on the ice.

Litter is an issue throughout the ice fishing season, but it tends to be particularly problematic as the deadlines for removing fish houses from lakes loom. 

Shelters must be removed from inland waters in the southern two-thirds of the state by midnight on March 2, and from inland waters in the northern one-third by midnight on March 16.  Different dates apply to border waters.


Trash left on the ice is not only an eyesore, but it also has the potential to negatively affect water quality, especially if the litter remains when the ice melts. “People need to clean up after themselves when they head home.  The only thing they should leave is an imprint in the snow or ice,” said Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division.  “The majority of people do things right, but unfortunately there’s a subset of people who leave a mess on the ice and count on someone else to clean up after them.”

Conservation officers spend the winter monitoring anglers and documenting areas where they believe litter might be a problem.  While these officers can’t watch every single fish house as it leaves the lake, every year people who leave their trash on the ice – and hope nobody notices – receive litter citations.  Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of officers checking spots they suspect will be a problem.  It’s also common for officers to hear from anglers upset about the trash left behind by the people they’ve fished near during the winter.

“Leaving trash on the ice isn’t a mistake or an oversight – the people who litter make a conscious decision to do it,” Smith said.  “They take advantage of the fact that the majority of people care about our lakes and will clean up trash, even if it isn’t theirs.”

Link for Ice Shelter Dates

Monday, February 10, 2020

August 13, 1883 - First Trip to Park Rapids

 The following was sent to us to share with you:

I just discovered your "history" section on the Long Lake site. The story "The Bridge Over the Lake" by Nancy Tague was of interest to me. My husband's (John Thompson) great grandparents, Asher and Mary Blunt, homesteaded our farm east of Long Lake (Section 34-Twp-140 Range-034 Henrietta Township) in October of 1882. Their granddaughter, (John's mother) Almeda Thompson, wrote about their first trip to Park Rapids on August 13, 1883, going across the bridge on Long Lake. She wrote about it after hearing stories about it from her grandmother, Mary, years later.

Kathy Thompson



"The First Trip to Park Rapids:  August 13, 1883"
By Almeda Thompson

Asher pushed back from the table after a hearty breakfast and surprised Mary.
“Let’s go to Park Rapids today,” he said.
Mary’s brown eyes sparkled with pleasure and quickly clouded over. She should wash white clothes today – but few opportunities for a change like this came her way.
“I’ll hurry and be ready soon. It looks like a lovely day,” she answered.
“I’ll go get Ambrose to stay here while we are gone. Be ready when I get back.”
Mary nodded. Her mind was in dreamland as she cleared the table and did the other necessary work. She put on her new blue calico dress. Frank had given her the cloth for her birthday, purchased at four cents a yard, and she had made the dress and kept it for special occasions. She came out of the bedroom with bonnet in hand as Ambrose came in the kitchen door.
“So, you’re going stepping today!” he teased.
Mary stood in front of the mirror adjusting her bonnet. “I probably shouldn’t go, but I’ve never been to Park Rapids so it should be fun.”
Asher helped her climb into the wagon. She sat down on the plank seat and adjusted her long full skirt to help keep it free from wrinkles. Asher climbed up beside her. “Giddup,” he said, and the oxen started their slow lumbering motion. They followed a winding wagon trail down to the east shore of Long Lake. The bridge across the lake was only partly completed.
“People ford the lake right here,” said a workman. “You can get across without any trouble.”
Timid Mary began to feel her heart flutter. The distance across the lake was much greater than the width of the Shell River they had forded. The water slushed against the bodies of the oxen and poured over the bottom of the wagon as the high wheels disappeared under its depth. The oxen stopped, trembling and frightened.
“Giddup,” said Asher sternly. But still they didn’t move. Mary crawled out cautiously onto the loose board of the bridge. Fighting a giddy dizziness as she looked at the sea of deep blue water all around them, she walked around to the oxen’s heads and coaxed tenderly and kindly.
“Come on, Buck, we’ll make it all right. Come, Bright, let’s get started.”
Slowly they began to move forward again. Mary continued to walk on the bridge planks talking in her gentle and reassuring words to the frightened animals.
The water grew less deep. The sturdy oxen regained their calm methodic sense of security. Steadily they moved forward and finally shook the water from their bodies as their feet once again stood on dry ground.
Mary climbed back into the wagon and tried to calm her ruffled feelings as they drove on to Park Rapids.
They had a pleasant day of shopping and sightseeing, then drove north making many extra miles on their homeward journey to avoid fording the lake again. They never again traveled that way until the bridge was completed.