Brute's Bleat: August 20, 2014


Vanna and I were surprised in Ney Park Friday morning when a hen pheasant flushed out of the grass with her four-bird covey that flew well.  It’s getting to be that time of year when pheasants and turkeys will be more visible as they hunt for food and water.  
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Speaking of water, Maple Lake didn’t get much rain Sunday afternoon, but most of the fans at the baseball tournament in Jordan got thoroughly soaked when the skies opened up in the eighth inning of the Kimball-Plato game. Daryl Hennen and I were among the soaked fans who included David Fuller, his son, Todd, and his family from Maple Lake. Former Laker center-fielder Marcus Zahn and Bill Porter, another former Laker, were also there as was one of Maple Lake High School’s baseball coaches, Dale Welter. We shared quarters in Ed Raiche’s apartment before either of us were married.  Other familiar faces were Art Dingmann and his brother, Doug, supporting Kimball who won their rain-delayed game 7-6 with Plato. Neither Hennen nor I thought that game could be continued with the amount of rain that fell. There was standing water in the outfield grass and it was still pouring down.  Our original plan was to watch Hanska and Sobieski at Belle Plaine because the winner would be Maple Lake’s first opponent, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jordan. When the rains came we assumed that game would be rescheduled, but somehow it was played and Sobieski won 2-0. Loretto was a 10-inning 1-0 winner over St. Benedict and will play in the 5 p.m. game against the New Ulm Brewers Friday at Jordan before the ML game. Where else can you go and get around five hours of entertainment for $7 bucks! Go Lakers! It’s about an hour and a quarter trip through some pretty countryside. On the way back to Maple Lake we spotted two turkeys that apparently didn’t know enough to get out of the rain. 
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I laid off angling for part of last week, mostly because I was busy at the Messenger print shop. I did take a run over to Twin Lake-Lake Sylvia on Thursday morning and found out there are a ton of sunfish in those lakes, but it takes a lot of sorting, much more than I care to do.  I didn’t know much about those lakes so I fished wherever I could find some sunfish weeds, mostly off points in 13-14 feet that had rushes in the shallow water.  I also tried the hump out from the public access which held lots of fish, but again, it took sorting. I was on kind of a time table Thursday, but I could have spent another half-hour fishing had I known the Canadian Pacific had trains (3), two westbound and one eastbound blocking the tracks on County Road 2. I wasn’t the only frustrated motorist at that crossing. A loaded oil train was eastbound and a train with mostly loaded vehicles was westbound. Both were moving slowly when I pulled up behind a pickup. The pickup driver said he had been waiting a good 15 minutes.  The eastbound oil train came to a stop and the westbound train started to pick up speed and soon was out of sight. The eastbound train remained stationary and soon we could hear a whistle coming from South Haven. It was another westbound freight pulling empty (we assumed) oil cars. After it passed by in front of us the eastbound freight finally started to move and shortly thereafter we crossed the tracks and were on our way to ML. I was kind of concerned about my sunnies because it was a warm morning. They were still in the live well which was drained at the access, but they seemed to be just fine when I filleted them. If there is a next time, I’ll have a cooler along!  Lake Sylvia’s lake association has people at the access inspecting boats for weeds and zebra mussels before they are launched. It wasn’t an inconvenience and I admire the association for taking a grass roots approach to the zebra mussel issue. I fished Friday morning with Mike Muller and his grandson, Harrison, who will be a seventh grader at the Buffalo Middle School this fall. Harrison may not have had a quality rod and reel, but it was good enough to catch more sunfish then either Mike or myself. He also caught a hammer handle northern before the morning trip was over. Muller was also making a maiden run with a new Hummingbird fish locator. The unit provided an excellent picture and will be an asset on our trips to Lake of the Woods next spring. On Friday we had only one keeper in his live well and I say that means we weren’t fishing in the right spots!
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