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The Best Fishing Trip of the Year

October 6, 2012

The Best Fishing Trip of The Year.

Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder.  The weekend of September 8, 2012, my son and I ventured to the Lake Auburn Campground near Victoria, MN. Managed by the Three Rivers Park District, the campground is a nice, clean, family campground with hiking/biking trails, a beach, and play area. It is just far enough out of the Twin Cities to feel like you have left, yet close enough to go home if the weather goes awry.  Borrowing Grandpa’s truck and boat, we loaded up and made our way to the campground late Saturday afternoon.

Despite being a warm, sunny day, our planned evening fishing trip was scrubbed due to a howling wind out of the North/Northwest.  Lake Auburn is a relatively small, shallow lake, thus the surface was whipped to a froth.  Not only did the wind wreak havoc on our fishing plans, it also did a number on our tent, as the weakened poles were not able to withstand the 30 mph gusts. There is nothing like sleeping with one arm extended to hold the side of the tent out so you have enough room to sleep.  Even so, we were able to build a roaring fire and enjoy dinner (hot dogs from Kramarczuks) and smore’s by firelight.  Better yet, we got to discover the flammable properties of marshmallows, hot dogs, hot dog buns, paper plates and graham crackers, before we crawled into our spacious accommodations and faded off to sleep.  It was pretty cool, if not a bit freaky, to wake to the sound of a pack of coyotes yipping and yelping through the woods in the wee hours.  It was also pretty cool to awake at 6 a.m. to the sound of an owl hooting nearby.

Surprisingly, my son, who after visiting the woods thought it would be a good idea to go back to sleep rolled over and said “Let’s go fishing.” A man after my own heart, I smiled inwardly and said, “Alright, let’s go”.

Minutes later we had geared up and headed for the access. The morning was clear, crisp (about 30 degrees colder than they day before and not helpful on the fishing front), and relatively calm, although there was still a slight breeze kicking up out of the N/NW.

Lake Auburn, is essentially a bowl shaped lake with no points or underwater humps.  What structure there is comes in the form of lily pads, milfoil and other assorted vegetation.  Starting shallow we threw an assortment of top water baits, with my son using a Jitterbug.  There were one or two splashes off in the distance but no action on our top water baits, i.e., floating frogs, buzz baits, Jitterbug, popper.  Moving out a little deeper I caught small northern pike on a jointed Rapala for our first fish of the day.  After about an hour and no fish, I switched my son over to a small jig, Berkley power minnow, and bobber.  The bass and northern pike were obviously put off by the change in the weather and my son needed to catch something as he was growing antsy.

As always, the sunfish were willing participants. Soon my son had a smile on his face, joyfully recounting how many more fish he had caught than I.  Still hoping too catch something bigger, we rigged up a night crawler but were unable to escape the sunnies and the unfairness in my son’s eyes of sacrificing the life of the poor night crawlers to catch a fish.  They’re only worms I said, but inside I realized he was learning the preciousness of life, the unfairness of sacrificing others to accomplish our goals and that our actions have consequences.

Soon it was time to drive the boat and go back to the playground and with that we called it a day.  Back at the campsite we scrambled some eggs before nestling them with some home roasted hot dogs and cheese inside a bun.  Delicious!

With a mouthful of food and crumbs on his face my son mumbled, “Dad, that was the best fishing trip of the year.  Dad, this is the best breakfast ever.”

– Hats

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