Another good day in the Northwoods

Yes it was.... another great day in the Northwoods.

Started out with breakfast in downtown Mercer at Tom's Country Cafe.   Eggs, sausage, hash browns, and toast along with a good cup of coffee... what can be better?   I had breakfast with Tina Brunell of the Mercer Chamber and Jerry and Chris Hartigan of the

Flambeau Flowage Sports and Looney Beans Coffee Shop that are also located right on Rt. 51 in town.  Jerry is a fishing guide (Jerkbait Guide Service) and he and I would be on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage today.

We did good.  We started out trying one spot for crappies. Jerry has fished this spot recently and did well catching some big crappies... 12 - 14 inchers.    Today, he caught a nice handful of 10 inchers.  I got quite a few bites but could not connect with any.  With that, Jerry decided to one of his walleye spots.  We got several keepers but all were released.  To break things up and show a little more variety for the Illinois Outdoors TV show we were taping, we then moved on to a smallmouth bass spot.  Here too we got some nice fish.

It's amazing how these fish will fight so hard.  They're like little bulldogs and won't give up. I have some photos of the smallies here in the gallery.  Photos of the walleyes, pike, and crappeis will come in another post after I grab them from video footage that was recorded for the TVshow.

At the end of the day we met up at the Gateway Lodge.  Oh boy, more good food.  They serve everything from steaks, to ribs to seafood to burgers.  But no dinner at Gateway should start without first having one of their signature Bloody Marys.   Take a look at the photo in the gallery.  Can you tell what's in this cocktail?

Besides having some of their own brewed (for the lack of better words) vodka and glass rim seasoning, the Bloody Mary is garnished with hot pepper cheese curds, a pepperchini, pickled green beans, and a smoked sausage.   We were all so hungry, we quickly dug into our meals.  But I was able to capture one photo of the Salmon that was on special that evening.  It was fantastic.

To top off the day, as I was driving into town to gas up my truck for the trip home, I saw in a grass field a black bear with three cubs.   I wanted to get a photo but by the time I got my camera out, the cubs ran into the woods and mama followed.  This truly is God's Country in the Northwoods.

If you're planning a summer vacation up north, consider the Mercer area.  For information on the area, lodging, dining, fishing guides and more, visit the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce website at  I stayed at Yago's Retreat.   I'll miss staying there when I have to leave tomorrow.  John and Ellen Jagodzinski were great hosts offering me the best in northern hospitality.  I give this resort 5 stars and highly recommend staying here.

I'll be looking forward to my return to Mercer Wisconson.    The two TV shows that I taped up here this week will be aired in early July.  Illinois Outdoors TV is seen

Comcast and Insight Cable, Total Living Network, digital channel 138 on Saturdays at 8:00 AM throughout Chicago, its suburbs, and the Rockford, Champaign/Urbana, Peoria and Springfield, Illinois areas as well as NW Indiana and SW Michigan.

The show is also seen on TV 17 Outdoors on MediaCom Cable in Chicago's far west suburbs in DeKalb, LaSalle, Kane, and Kendall Counties. The show is seen on Channel 17 on Tuesdays at 9:30 PM and Wednesdays at 11:30 AM & 7:30 PM

Illinois Outdoors TV can also be seen 24/7 at

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