Sunday marked the end of the season for everything but catfish and panfish. We made it out on Saturday for a few hours, but between forgetting the Marcum and not being able to figure out where the drop off was, we called it early. It was in the single digits, windy, and snowing. To top it off, our luck on Lake Mendota is always abysmal. That said, dragging a loaded sled a mile and a half across a frozen lake and back in powdery snow is one hell of a leg workout.
At the rate the weather is going, we’re going to have decent ice through mid-March. Honestly, it would not surprise me one bit if I was still able to walk on in early April. If we have a cold, long Spring again, the lakes may not be ice-free until mid or late April. Honestly, I’m ready to just be able to see dirt and grass again, even if it’s dormant and brown. I need to till for my garden, I need to get in the back yard and clean up the dog poo that’s accrued since my last scooping back in December, and there’s a bunch of stuff we’d like to get done both on Ditch Boat and in the garage- there’s still deer legs and skins and bits and pieces hanging around from November, as well as a dead coyote yet to be skinned. The coyote is its own funny story, though. But none of that is going to get done as long as the temperature is below 15 degrees. Luckily, it’s looking like we’ll peek over freezing by late this week.
So, we’ll have to wait until early May to get back after muskie, pike, and bass. Early trout opened this weekend, but it’s catch and release. Luckily, this year we were forward thinking enough to put in for our turkey tags early and pick an earlier time. My tags start on the 16th of April, which is the second week of the season. I got Matt his permit at the same time, but I can’t remember whether his is for the week before or the week after mine, and I can’t look his info up for him. Anyway, his are for up on his grandad’s farm, where we saw the flock of toms and jakes last summer, and mine are for down here in the Madison area. I’ll try to get that tom out at Sunny Slope again.
So the plan right now is to wish as hard as we can for Spring, and try to get some stuff in order until then. It’s been Winter since mid-Autumn and I’m ready to see it go.