Fall up at the NW Angle
It’s the northernmost point of the Contiguous United States. It is where the 14,552 islands of the lake begin. It is surrounded on three sides by Canada. It is Minnesota’s Northwest Angle. This area is special all of the time, but fall up at the NW Angle is definitely one to add to your list, it’s spectacular.
Sometimes reading about something from the eyes of someone who lives it every single day is enlightening. Such is the case in remembering a short update from last year on fall up at the Northwest Angle from Deb Butler. Some might remember Butler as the person who ran Islander Passenger Service amongst the islands before stepping into another chapter of life. Others know her as a fun conversationalist with a wealth of knowledge. Some know Deb as a friend and neighbor. Here is a recent passage from Butler… enjoy!
It’s Sept and fall is in the air. Jeans and sweatshirts are what’s in the laundry now. A little welcome rain last night and a great light show but, seriously, we could do without all the wind!
Tonight’s sunset at the Point brought an ominous ‘woof’ from the woods that had us scurrying to the cabin before sunset. The bears are on the move and looking to bulk up before winter. If you, a screen door, screen window or other flimsy barrier are between them and something that smells like food, they’re going to prevail. Fact. If they want to open it and can hook a single claw in it, they can. Fact. Their sense of smell is phenomenal. The best defense is a good offense… do not have garbage bags outside – a bag of garbage or cans (beer, pop) smells like food, as does a grill or a deep fryer or a container of used oil. Shut doors and windows at night. Play a radio in unoccupied buildings or when you’re gone for any length of time. Keep in mind that bears think it’s theirs unless you convince them otherwise. Noise is a very good deterrent.
Fishing is still good if you understand the fish. Being able to fish is still good if you understand the wind and know some spots. Muskies have been good, crappies are ok and have gotten some nice big ones, rock bass are plentiful (minus points for them) walleyes are big or small – consider keeping 16s and 17s. Lots of slot northerns. Weeds are dying off. Typical fall.
The 1st Annual Hog Roast last weekend at Jerry’s, put on by the Volunteer Fire Dept, was a huge success. Thanks to all who participated and supported!
The water level has dropped a bit and a few ‘new’ rocks have been found. Again. And, unfortunately, Mergens’ Point still continues to confound the uninformed. Jordan, not all heroes wear capes.
The night sky when there’s no cloud cover, has been amazing. It looks like you could almost touch the stars. The Big Dipper hits your eyes as soon as you walk out of a north-facing door. No northern lights yet that I’ve seen but it shouldn’t be long.
Anytime up at the NW Angle is special. Fall is really something. The muskies put the feed bag on and many catch them trolling this time of year.
More anglers are coming up solely to target big black crappies. These fish get schooled up and they are big, often averaging 12 inches and larger. It’s fun to get into a school of crappies with the changing foliage and migration happening around you.
Walleye fishing remains excellent and most have no problems finding limits for a fish fry.
Duck hunters also show up this time of year with visions of blue bills buzzing between the islands. This is a cast and blast mecca. Imagine shooting a mixed bag of diver ducks while hunkered down amongst boulders on a point of an island. After the hunt, many go back and grab breakfast and head out fishing. What a day for an outdoorsy person.
Yes, it’s fall on The Walleye Capital of the World. Don’t let the tagline fool you, there is a lot more to offer than just walleyes!