Brute's Bleat: August 6, 2014


After a disastrous panfish outing Tuesday morning with Evan Hennen when we didn’t find a lot of hungry bluegills, I think it’s back to the drawing board for me.  Most of the 10 sunfish we kept were biting ever so light it was difficult to distinguish a bite even though it was a quiet morning with little wind.  A spot which held sunnies a week ago Tuesday didn’t give us a nibble. The next spot held some fish, but we tended to feed those well when they sucked the piece of leech off, either as it was falling down or went undetected near the bottom by yours truly and his fishing companion, who is headed for the sixth grade this fall.  The weeds off Tom Carriveau’s point held fish, but we kept only one out of that spot which we knick-named the nursery.  We took a little boat ride to the east end of the lake and found some fish in the 12- to 14-foot depth, but again they were only “bite-size”, a term Evan used to describe the small fish. I gave Cedar Lake a shot Wednesday morning after walking Vanna, but a call from a co-worker, Kayla, to get some programs folded for the Regional Baseball Tournament cut that trip short. I was about to run out of bait and hadn’t caught anything respectable so it wasn’t anything I’ll losteny sleep over. 
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One of my fishing buddies, Mike Muller, and I tried Maple Lake Thursday morning in hopes of continuing to “live off the land” for another day!  We found some nice-sized sunnies, the largest 8 1/2-inch, on one of the many humps in that lake. It wasn’t a day that the sunfish were jumping in the boat, but it was steady enough to make it enjoyable for several hours. We were using leeches and spikes (Muller’s favorite) and the fish were biting on both, but on the light side. We took a ride to the east end of the lake and fished there briefly, catching only smaller fish, so it was back to the big lake.  We found some quality sunnies in 12 1/2 feet of water which I felt was too shallow this time of the year, but I’ve been wrong before. We called it day at 21 fish with hopes of getting out again after the pleasure boaters take over on the weekend. 
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 The Maple Lake Lakers gave baseball fans a suspense-filled 12-11 win over Dassel-Cokato Saturday to remain undefeated in Region 12C playoffs. What started to look like a pitcher’s duel for four innings gave way to both teams hitting the ball well as the score indicates. Shortstop Luke Fobbe’s line shot home run to left-center field with men on put the Lakers ahead, but only momentarily. It took a team effort in the bottom of the ninth when four consecutive hits tied the game and gave the Lakers a one-run win. Incidentally, Fobbe and second sacker Nate Johnson are both batting .571 in playoff action. It was an intense game where most fans remained glued to their seats for fear of missing any of the action.  Mitch Wurm struck out eight, and gave up eight runs in the 7 1/3 innings he pitched. Ben Jungers and Brian Russell came in relief with Russell putting out the fire in the bottom of the eighth after D-C picked up three runs, two of them unearned. It was one of those games that either team could win, but the Lakers had the fan edge with Marge Hennen in the stands. Marge commented she has only seen them win this year and promises to be back for the Friday night game with Loretto at 7:30 p.m. in her role as the Lakers’ good luck charm.  Howard Lake played the Saturday night-cap, winning 4-3 over Hutchinson in another tight game to remain in contention.  If both teams continue to win they could meet in the double-elimination Region finals which will be Sunday at 2 p.m.  Jim Wackler, one of the Howard Lake Orphans better fans, whose grandson, Dan, plays shortstop, is also an ardent fisherman. He figures the cormorants and pelicans have done a number on the Howard Lake sunfish to the point no one is catching any and if Jim can’t catch any, he has to be right about the predator birds. Jim’s son, Mark, a record-setting scorer with the Howard Lake High School basketball team, was also there watching his son play. Jim commented his records still stand in the annuls of that school.  
The attendance at the baseball tournament was good over the weekend and keeping Howard Lake and Maple Lake in contention is one of the reasons.  It’s also a good place to be about meal time when the aroma of frying onions and hamburgers waft through the air. Daryl Hennen was manning the grill Sunday afternoon and commented they had gone through approximately 400 so far. See you there beginning on Wednesday when the playoffs continue with Delano playing Maple Plain at 7:30 p.m.
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