Fishless & Frustrated: Exploring "Failure" on Lake of the Woods

It was late afternoon. The minor was just underway, and that weed line looked juicy. I could feel it. There was a musky down there that would turn my luck around. 

The last 36 hours had been a grind. It was August 2017, and I was fishing Lake of the Woods for the first time. Ontario, Canada. Land of plenty. The waters that promised multiple fish a day. Where, no matter what, without a doubt, I would catch a bunch of fish and they'd be bruisers. Or so everyone told me. As my second of 3.5 days in the True North began to fade, I had cast probably 1200 times with just two low follows and exactly zero musky to show for it.

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My Intro to Ice Fishing: Part 2

In my last post, I left off trying to place ice fishing for panfish with the other kinds of fishing I am more accustomed to: typically sport fishing for large and elusive predators. I wondered if sitting on a comfy chair in an ice house reeling in “small” fish after fish could ever compare to the thrill of working my tail off all weekend long to maybe, just maybe, be rewarded with one true giant. In my last post, I spent a short evening on a lake near my hometown catching crappies, and though I enjoyed it, I was more of a tourist than an active participant. I missed the feeling of earning my catch. In this post I’ll be exploring the full day I spent on Mille Lacs Lake two days later, and the many things I learned that day on the ice. 

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My Intro to Ice Fishing: Part 1

I’m a Minnesota-raised, winter-loving outdoorsman and angler, and I never ice fished. I mean it: never, ever. The closest I got was taking a turn hand-augering a hole through the ice on a frozen pond during a third-grade field trip. (Thanks, Minnesota public schools).  

I’ve actually used that tidbit in real-life conversation by the way. Like: “Do you ice fish?” “No, but I did help auger a hole one time in third grade.” It’s not impressive. Anyway, I digress. 

Up until last week, I had never ice fished. Here’s why:

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Simple Beginnings: Defining the Outdoors

Over the last few months I’ve mentioned to a few people I’m starting a blog. The response I almost always get is: “Cool. What kind?”

What kind. 

I stop to think: “Oh, you know, just a girl on a quest to develop skills and share knowledge of fishing, hiking, cooking, travel, natural health, comprehensive wellness and big life lessons captured through the lens of small outdoor experiences, all in the hope of experimenting with my talents while helping and inspiring others,” doesn’t really lend itself to casual conversation. For ease of communication, I generally sum it up with three words: 

“Um, The Outdoors.” 

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