Think back to some of your most fond Christmas memories. Can you recall what you got for presents? It’s tough. But if asked to recall who you spent Christmas with and the fun activities you did together, well that’s usually a little easier. The best Christmas memories might include familiar flavors like that honey glazed ham your mom makes every year and familiar sounds like that song your brother sings around the soft light of the Christmas tree. Some of the best Christmas memories come from unplugging, disconnecting, and recharging. In the border waters, that’s the easy part.
Today, families are looking for more meaningful ways to connect beyond the harsh, cold electronic screens that occupy most of our precious time. Christmas is a great time to press pause, lift your head up from your phone, and take in the splendor of the beauty that surrounds you and the presence of the people you hold closest to your heart.
Now, we might be biased, but we think one of the best places to spend Christmas is up north. Can we let you in on a little secret? We’ve figured out a recipe to slow down time. Or at least our perception of it. And we’re sharing that recipe with you.
Step 1: Plan your trip and holiday meals. If food is an important part of your family’s tradition, plan to pack and bring along the ingredients you need to make those heirloom dishes. Check with your resort or lodge prior to booking to be sure they have the right equipment to prepare and cook your meals, too. Preparation will take the headache and stress out of cooking when you are there. If you’re planning to cook up your fresh catch of fish from your ice fishing venture, plan a backup meal in case the big one gets away.
Step 2: Make a list of activities for everyone in your party. If moving past gifts and onto more meaningful experiences is on your agenda, here are a few activities to include:
Step 3: Unplug. Turn off your phone and enjoy your surroundings and present company. Sometimes, the greatest gift you can give is your undivided attention. Plus, that is how memories are made. It’s the holiday season and it’s a time to reflect, honor, and cherish the gifts you’ve been given.
Fresh powder means something exciting up north: it’s sled time. As the first snowflakes touch the ground and start to accumulate, snowmobile covers are lifted, and fuel or gear runs eat up entire afternoons. After you’ve tuned up your sled, checked for fuel, and cleared away the dust, you’ll be anxious to hit the trails. When it’s time to dig out your snow pants, puffy winter coat, and thermal undergarments, we’ve got some tips to keep you safe, informed, and excited about hitting the trails.
Excited to get out and ride? With so many trails to choose from, the hardest part of your trip might be choosing which trail to ride first. Here is a map to help you plan your route.
Remember to have fun and be safe!
One of the best tasting fish in Minnesota is the Black Crappie, which are plentiful in the vast Rainy Lake waters. To eat them, you must first catch them. It's always a good idea to check with local bait stores on the best lures for crappies, but most crappie fishers get a supply of live minnows as they are the natural food source and crappie's favorite meal.
It's best to go with ultra light rods and 2-6# line which helps in feeling the "light bite." Bobbers are a good idea for younger anglers, but not necessary. While the world record crappie is 6 pounds, the typical "keeper" in Minnesota lakes is under 1 pound. Spring fishing is perfect for crappie fishing as they can be found along shorelines where there are fallen trees or sharp drop offs. They prefer structure such as weed beds, humps or holes under the water and wind-protected coves with good cover. Early morning yields the best chance of success, and once you find one, there is most likely a school of them at the same spot.
“Before going fishing, anglers should be sure to check page seven of the fishing regulations that details what’s new for 2019,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the Department of Natural Resources." The current limit of crappies to have in possession is 10 per licensed angler. And that would make an awesome fish fry!