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Monday, April 13, 2015

Camping and Canoeing and Fishing at Atchison State Fishing Lake

Sometimes I make mistakes.  I made a pretty significant one a few weeks ago when I asked my kids what they wanted to do that weekend.  I didn't ask them "What should we do this weekend?".  Instead, I asked "Do you want to go camping, fishing, or canoeing this weekend?"  Any guesses what they said?  Their response in unison was "YES!  All of them!"  So, being the good dad I am, I said OK.
Agreeing to go camping, and fishing, and canoeing was both a good decision and a bad one.  Good, because they really had a great time.  Bad, because now they want to do all of them all of the time and are disappointed when we leave any of the options out. 
We crammed the car full of all the gear we'd need, then loaded the canoe on top, not unlike the maraschino cherry on top of a banana split.  Then we drove up the road to Atchison State Fishing Lake.  We set up camp, cooked dinner over the campfire, did a little fishing, and took an evening paddle on the lake before we settled down to bed.  I do have to admit, it was quite the fantastic evening.  I heard coyotes yipping in the middle of the night, and an owl hoot a few times as well. 
The next morning we got up and did some more fishing and some more canoeing on the lake.  We caught mostly crappie, with a few bass, catfish, and bluegill thrown in for good measure.  There were several geese and ducks on the south side of the lake that the kids were pretty fascinated with as well.  They didn't have any babies yet, but definitely will have plenty of them later in the spring.  Mid-morning the wind picked up, and once it did we decided to as well.
I did have to throw in one more picture- I saw a big old dead flathead catfish bobbing in some brush near shore, so I netted it to take a closer look.  It would have been fantastic to catch it when it was alive!  There are some big fish in there!

Nearest City: Atchison, KS
Location: 10 miles NW of Atchison
Time Needed: varies
Difficulty: easy
Kid Friendly: yes
Additional Info: Atchison State Fishing Lake Website  There are numerous primitive sites (fire rings, tables, and pit toilets) along the south shore of the lake.  There is also a cabin that can be rented/reserved.

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