On August 20th to 24th this year, the Regulators Dive Club travelled to Brainerd MN for their annual dive trip. Wayne La, long time Regulators Dive Club member, shares his experiences from this years dive trip. Be sure to click on the link at the bottom to see Wayne’s video swimming with a school of Blue Gills.
“Well we had another great year in Brainerd diving the Crosby Mines in the Cuyana Country State Recreation Area with the Regulators. There were even more folks that joined us this year and a few people we missed on this trip, there will always be next year! The weather this year wasn’t as sunny and hot, just mild with some overcast which was nice if you were in a dry suit, but still very enjoyable in between dives.
We were told of a new lake named Mangan by a local that none of us have dove before, and what a fantastic discovery this was. This lake was small with a clearing right by shore that looks like the locals used as a campsite with fire pit. This dive site was perfect for parking and even better for diving with a shallow walk-in shore. The visibility was very good, upwards of 40 feet. Over on the left side of the dive site started off as a shallow bowl, it was a great area for seeing a school of blue gills swimming in the bright sun. However if you did wanted to see a REALLY big school of blue gills (approx. 300) it was a short a five minute surface swim across the lake and then we descended down to 18 ft. and swam along the shore. When you reached some brush that has been flooded, you knew you were at the spot, plus all the fish swimming up to you gives it away! I personally sat on top of the brush for 15 minutes watching these curious guys. We did explore some more of this lake and found a treasure chest on the other side of the lake, there was a surprise when you opened it!
We also dove a lake called Alstead which was quite large with some locals fishing for Northern Pike. There was an old transport road from the mining days about 15 ft. below the surface we tried following for a while, it was supposed to lead us to a nice fish habitat. We were not successful at finding this habitat, it’s just hard trying to follow what you think is the road that has been overgrown with underwater plant, and the visibility was only 15 ft. at best. Near the dive entrance we did find many snails and clams that we were feeding the small mouth bass with.
Of course there was the night dive which happened at Louise again. The visibility here again was quite good without a strong light. Locals had moved an old boat pretty close to the entrance sitting about 9 ft. below the surface, we did see the big green concrete turtle again. There were plenty of fish to see this time around also.
On our last dive day we went back to Mangan to hang out with the HUGE school of blue gills again, this time we were armed with a variety of cereal from breakfast at the hotel. We discovered Corn Pops and Corn Flakes were their favorite out of the varieties we tried. We also found a lot more clams for feeding the school of blue gills near the dive entrance.
Every night was plenty of food at the usual restaurant hangouts, plus some shopping afterwards at the local chains. We had plenty of fun during this dive trip, saw plenty of fish and had plenty of laughs relaxing by the pool at the hotel. The Regulators hope to see you out there next year! – Wayne La”
Click to watch the video: Wayne’s Video: Brainerd MN 2014 (If the video doesn’t begin to play automatically, double-click on the image.)
Thanks for sharing with us Wayne!