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The season begins on The Big Lake and the LCI is a go

There's just something about whizzing by floating logs the size of a Toyota Tacoma at 40 mph that makes you feel alive - which is why I decided to venture out on Lake Champlain last weekend, despite the fact that it remained more than two feet above flood stage with debris bobbing everywhere you looked.

Seriously, The Big Pond was littered with more land mines than my backyard dog run after the winter snow melt - the water clarity was about the same color too, making it feel like you were casting into one of those mud pits the Jay Fire Department builds for their summer oozeball tournaments.

Funny thing was, the fish didn't seem to care. Somehow they found our lures through the mucky haze - and we were rewarded with some dandy lakers and salmon.

Surface temps ran very close to normal for this time of year - we marked a range of 48-52, ideal for running planer boards and fishing shallow with downriggers. We caught fish consistently on both, and definitely ate well all weekend.

The issues with launching and all the debris in the water, however, certainly emphasized the rationale behind the Coast Guard's warning on recreational boating.

Which is why the decision to call off the Rotary Fishing Derby for the first time in its 28 year history was understandable. Definitely sad, though - as if the region isn't suffering enough economically without Mother Nature giving us yet another boot in the derriere.

That also made me question wether the LCI Father's Day Derby - billed as the oldest and largest fishing derby in the country - might also be forced to reschedule, if not pull the plug altogether (pardon the pun).

I spoke to LCI Executive Director James Ehlers about it, though, and he hesitated not at all saying the derby -scheduled for scheduled for June 18-20 - is definitely a go.

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