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We finally got out on Maple Lake last Tuesday with George Palmer to fish for panfish after about four weeks of inactivity. It took us a while to find some sunnies that were biting and large enough to keep, but hunting for them is part of the game. We got out on the lake about 9:30, but in retrospect that might have been too early. Either they weren’t biting that early or we just didn’t find a good spot until about 11 a.m. We fished different depths, but found out seven feet down in about 11-12 feet was about right. We were using both artificial and night crawlers with artificial (minnow heads) the most effective. We fished until we had about 12-13 keepers in the live well, decided to call it a day about 2 p.m. Palmer had the hot hand and was using a pink jig. He finally convinced me to put one on from his tackle box and it made a difference. . .
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I got the lawn mower out last week after the Sept. 19 rain which really did a dramatic job on the backyard turning it from brown to green. It looks like the yard needs mowing again and with more rain promised for the middle of the week, I should get at it again before that happens. This is about the time of year I take off the screens and wash the outside of the windows and also get the storm windows washed and ready to put on. We’re so old-fashioned we still have the wood storm windows that need to be taken off in the spring and put back on in the fall. I’d much rather be hunting! I noticed some of the soybean fields in the area have been harvested and others in the process, which means the bean and corn harvest will be underway big time soon. The beans took a hit from the extremely dry weather, but the corn fared better, but will still be down in yield from last year.
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We, meaning Vanna and myself, are hearing an occasional pheasant rooster crow while we’re walking in Ney Park. The last one we heard sounded kind of anemic and we suspected it was a young bird just learning how. On Sunday Vanna sniffed out a pheasant leg that had been a recent kill as the flesh and feathers appeared quite fresh. We don’t like to see that happen, but it’s part of the way nature takes care of itself, or “survival of the fittest,” as the saying goes. The number of deer road kills seems to be on the rise and that means motorists should be more diligent when driving in the evening or early morning hours when the deer are on the move to feed and later when they go into the rutting season. . . I saw a fresh possum road kill last week near St. Cloud after not having seen any this summer. They’re a varmint that hadn’t made their way into Minnesota until the past 10 years or so, and our cold winters may have had an effect on their survival. I feel they’re detrimental to the bird population (like pheasants), and if it takes a cold winter or two to control them, it doesn’t bother me a bit. The cold winter also seems to have done a number on the boxelder bugs and Japanese beetles which were invading our house late last summer into winter.
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If you’re into watching Minnesota’s fall colors the DNR provides a good up-to-date report on the best places to visit to capture the beauty of the changing season. Nothing in Minnesota is past its peak and the best is yet to come. The North Shore along Lake Superior is a perennial hot spot for viewers and is about 75% of being fully colored with an area northeast of Bemidji peaking out. In Wright County we’re seeing a lot of color and with the sunny days ahead of us it will get better. We’ve been frost-free so far locally and that makes a difference, too. Our advice would be to keep tabs by using the DNR’s website for updates on the changing colors.
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The DNR released a story Sept. 26 about two Missouri anglers who were ticketed for several catfish violations while fishing on Lac qui Parle. The report said Officer Ed Picht’s investigation showed Frankie Munger and Roger Murphy had 14 catfish on a stringer and 36 catfish fillets in their cooler. The limit on catfish is five with only one more than 24 inches. They were also in possession of too many catfish over length. Fines and restitution for the pair totaled $600. “The men didn’t think it was a big deal to keep too many catfish,” Picht said. “In reality, most of the people who fish the Minnesota river system this time of year are targeting catfish.” Some people never learn!
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