#19 Minnesota's first, and perfectly timed, blizzard of the season
We arrived in Minnesota around six in the evening, and it was getting dark but their state fish, walleye, are very active at night. We stopped by a bait and tackle shop for some advice and planned to go fish for them that night. But the weather had different plans, As we got back out on the road snow began falling furiously and even the interstate had several inches of accumulation. We barely had control of the minivan. We couldn’t drive in that kind of snow, and so we pulled over to a Cabela's to spend the night.
The next morning we set out and fished on the St. Clair River and the Mississippi. Through a friend I was connected with Dennis Anderson, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and he said he would write up an article and see if he could get us some help. Dennis's support was to prove crucial in the months ahead as he wrote several articles on us. We had no luck that day even while trying below various dams on the Mississippi. That night we met a local fisherman who was fly fishing for Musky - he suggested we try below a hydro electric dam. We were definitely not allowed to fish there, but the "keep out" signs were placed very vaguely, giving us plenty of plausible deniability. Unfortunately, no luck there either. We tried some similar spots the next day, including some smaller lakes in the area, but again came up empty.
The next day was one of the coldest and hardest fishing days of the trip. We fished on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, with heavy snowfall in 12 degree weather from around nine in the morning until seven at night. On the Minnesota river we at least saw some action, with the walleye chasing baitfish out in the center of the river, but we got no bites. We nearly called it a day then, but decided to look on Fishbrain and try to find one more spot to fish. We settled on a bridge across the Minnesota river near the town of Belle Plaine. On my first cast, my crankbait hit a rock and cracked, so I ran up to the car to get another. When I came back down to the river I heard Dan yelling to me as he reeled in a walleye. I cast out immediately, working my lure super slowly in, and sure enough had a bite. Seconds later, with my walleye on the bank. I ended up catching two more fish on consecutive casts. Then as the temperature dropped into single digits we decided it was high time to leave. That night, we drove to Sioux City, Iowa.