Updated February 24, 2019
- This season marks our 21st of
owning and managing Rainbow Bay Resort. Thank you to our loyal
- We've gotten about 30 inches of snow in the
past 2 weeks. Snowmobile and ski trails in our area have lots
of snow! We had some extremely cold temperatures at the end of
January. One morning the wind chill temperature was 50 below!
On another morning the actual temperature was 33 below! (Feb 24,
- Ice fishing had been fair to good. When
we had the really cold temperatures, mostly I did not fish.
Now there is so much snow on the ice, very few anglers are venturing
out onto the lakes. (Feb 24, 2019)
- Eric, Matt, and Jake came up for ice fishing
before the snow came. Eric and Matt had never caught a fish
through the ice. We had lots of panfish action and good times
inside my new pop-up shack! (Feb 24, 2019)
- We've had a flock of turkeys come to our bird
feed most days this winter. Here is the flock during one of
our recent snow storms. (Feb 24, 2019)
- Ice fishing is in full swing. Anglers
are driving on some of the lakes. I've caught some panfish and
northern pike on nearby lakes. I caught and released this
31-inch pike on a shiner minnow on December 31. I had the
tip-up set up over weeds in water about 9 feet deep.
- We have only a modest amount of snow on the
ground. Some of the cross country ski trails are open, but
needing some fresh snow. We had fresh snow on December 28, but
this has mostly melted. If you are coming to the area to
snowmobile, I encourage you to call the Washburn County Tourism
Office for an update on trail conditions. Their phone number
- I observed NO zebra mussels on the sampling
device I had suspended under one of our docks for the summer.
- Fall colors are peaking now! We've had
a damp September and October lending to spectacular fall colors.
This photo was across our bay on the morning of October 4.
Colors should be brilliant for at least another week. (Oct 6)
- Dave R. caught and released this 34.5-inch
pike on Benoit Lake. The fished was chunky and weighed over 10
pounds. Good job Dave! (October 5)
- Fall fishing has been good, with some nice
catches. I caught and released this 47-inch musky on a crank
bait. (September 29)
- Don M. caught and released this beautiful
largemouth on Benoit. (September 29)
- Dave R. caught a handsome musky that I
believe is a hybrid tiger musky. He released this 33-incher.
- Jake and I had some good fishing on Benoit
Lake over Labor Day weekend. Jake caught and released this
18-inch bass on a plastic worm. We also had this pair of nice
bass; also on plastic baits. (September 2)
- There was a distinctive thermocline in Benoit
Lake this summer. (August 14)
- Our prairie restorations were showy this
summer. This bumblebee and Cope's tree frog found the plants
inviting. (August 6)
- A new resort-record was established when
Stephanie C. caught this massive 14-inch crappie! She was
using a minnow. Unfortunately the fish could not be revived
and ended up in the frying pan. Very nice catch Stephanie!
Congratulations! (July 22)
- I caught and released this 35-inch
northern pike on a nearby lake. It took a crank bait near the
deep weed line. (August 10)
- Ron C. caught and released this 33.5-inch
pike on Benoit Lake. Nice job Ron! (late-June)
- Our spring rapidly advanced and turned to
summer. The bluegill spawn was widespread and obvious on
Benoit Lake. Bass and crappies have been active too.
Musky fishing has been a bit slow, although guests have caught a few
small ones. (June 26)
Doug took this 42-incher from Benoit. While it looks
impressive, don't let Doug fool you. The fish was
unfortunately found floating. It had no apparent hook marks so
we don't think fishing caused its mortality.
Tina and Mike D. had fun catching crappies and gills in early-June.
They caught lots of them in our bay.
- We had a strong storm on Fathers Day that
knocked the tops off of a couple of oak trees. Fortunately
there was no damage to structures. The storm dumped about 5
inches of rain and the lake level is up. (June 26)
- I collected data on temperature and dissolved
oxygen at different depths of Benoit Lake. Stratification has
already occurred and the thermocline (zone of rapidly declining
temperatures) is at about 15-20 feet deep. (June 26)
- Dennis R. and I fished a nearby lake and
caught some nice bass on soft plastic baits. (June 26)
Dennis R. with a 17-incher that he caught and released, on a nearby
- During my family reunion in mid-June, we
caught some nice fish on Benoit Lake. We released the best
fish and had a fish fry with some of the panfish and eater-sized
bass. (June 26)
Dad and cousin Jack have caught lots of fish together over the
years. This healthy bass took a plastic worm.
Cousin George N, myself, and Dad added these Benoit bass to our fish
fry for the week.
- At 91 years young, Dad still knows how to
catch fish! Somehow he managed to catch 2 bass on a wacky worm
rigged with only single-hook (not a treble hook). When he
reeled in the pair of fish, the line passed through the lip of the
first fish like it was on a stringer. The hook was then stuck
into the flesh of the second fish. I've never heard, nor seen
anything like this. (June 26)
These are the 2 bass that somehow Dad caught simultaneously on a
Dad caught and released this little musky. It was likely one
that was stocked by the DNR in fall, 2017.
- I ventured to a couple of area lakes in
early-June and caught a mixed bag of pike, bass, and perch. (June
The fish came from 2 nearby lakes in early-June.
- Ben has painted the decking on the main dock.
We've also replaced about 15 of the boards that were showing signs
of decay. (June 26)
- Robins have nested, fledged babies, and are
nesting again. Phoebes are also actively nesting. There
is a pair of loons on the lake and they are acting like they have a
nest in one of the bays. (June 26)
- Our prairie patches are looking good.
Lupines had a fair bloom and coreopsis are in full bloom now.
Orange milkweed has just started to blossom. We've found
several monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plants. (June 26)
- Leaves are coming out on trees. Bass
and panfish have been in the shallows on warm afternoons. So
far it has been a dry and beautiful May. (May 13)
I took the kayak into the shallow bays in mid-May and caught some
nice bass and gills on small plastics.
- Benoit Lake became completely free of ice on
May 2. This almost marks the latest (May 3, 2013) that ice has
departed since we have owned the resort. Loons returned to the
lake on April 26th this year. The leaves are not yet out on
trees, but that will happen soon. (May 4)
This was our bay 2 days before the ice left.
- We had new windows installed on the lake-side
of units 1 and 2.
- We had lots of snow this past April, but it
has been dry the last couple of weeks and we have a high danger of
wild fires now, with burning bans in place. (May 4)
On April 16 we got 13 inches of snow. This was the last time I
needed to shovel for the season.
- I enjoyed some excellent ice fishing on area
lakes. Ice got up to 35 inches thick on some lakes.
I caught and released this 18-inch bass on a nearby lake while
crappie fishing in late-March.
With some friends, we caught some nice fish on a nearby lake in
- Zebra mussels were discovered in Big McKenzie
Lake in October, 2016 and then in Middle McKenzie in 2017.
Both of these lakes are only a few miles from
Benoit Lake but are not directly connected to Benoit Lake.
Zebra mussels are an invasive species that can harm lake ecosystems.
We are concerned that these invaders are so close to our lake.
We encourage all boaters and anglers to be cautious when trailering
boats between waters. These boaters should always completely
drain live wells, bait buckets, and lower units when departing a
lake to help prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic
invasive species. It is typically impossible to rid a lake of
an invasive species once it becomes established. The DNR will
continue to monitor Big McKenzie and Middle McKenzie lakes for zebra
mussels in 2018. I hung a sampling device from our main dock
in May 2018. The device is a series of flat plates layered
horizontally. Larval zebra mussels are free floating and will
attach to a hard surface. When I pull the dock ashore in fall,
I'll inspect the sampling device for evidence of zebra mussels.
I'm told that they would feel gritty on the undersurface of the
plates. Hopefully I never find any. If you take your boat to
other lakes, especially Middle McKenzie and Big McKenzie, please be especially careful before launching your boat into
Benoit Lake. Thank you in advance for being extra careful!
- State law prohibits smoking in motel
and tourism rooms statewide. The law went into effect on July
5, 2010. Smoking is still permitted outside. We ask that
our guests please respect this new law and also properly dispose of