Brute's Bleat: August 27, 2014


     I’ve received a lot of sympathy that I wasn’t looking for last week from anglers who seem to follow my comments about not getting many, if any, sunfish recently. I’m pleased to say that seems to have changed with a trip to Clearwater Lake one day last week with Vanna. We did some sorting and when we had a dozen in the livewell we figured that was enough for two good meals for two people. Our last fish for the outing was 9 inches and when it hit my piece of leech it felt more like a Northern fighting the hook than a sunfish.  Anyway, I was impressed not having been on that lake for a good 10 years and I’ll no doubt be making a return trip one of these days.  I was fishing in about 9 feet of water just off the edge of the weeds or in them most of the time.  
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I wasn’t ready for the Lakers baseball season to end like it did Friday night when Sobieski came out on top 3-1 in Maple Lake’s first game of the state tournament.  Both pitchers, Jeremy Schmidt for the Lakers; and Cole Jendro for Sobieski, were on their game not giving up very many hits or earned runs.  The Lakers’ one-run lead held up until their defense fell apart in the later innings and that spelled disaster for the Lakers, who many had picked (including Dale Welter who lost $5) to win the whole shebang. Jendro, in my opinion, was the toughest pitcher the Lakers have faced this year. What started out as a pitcher’s duel, and Schmidt was also at his best, kept fans on the edge of their seats as the scoreboard continued to be filled with zeros until a series of errors tipped the scale in the Ski’s favor.  Anyway, it has been a great season of baseball for Laker fans who filled two tour buses for the Friday night game. Many of them were decked out in new Laker T-shirts, including Marge Fobbe who managed a quick change in the grandstand before the game got underway.  In other games Howard Lake kept their hopes alive when they defeated Waconia 3-2 Saturday night in a well-played game. They are a team to watch and will play Jordan in an 11 a.m. game Saturday. Kimball was defeated by Fergus Falls 5-3 which ends their run for the trophy when the tournament ends on Labor Day.  My thanks to the Lakers for the great summer entertainment they provided and I’m looking forward to another great year of baseball in Maple Lake next summer.  
This year’s State Tournament book has two pages of memories of best tournaments which made for interesting reading. Dale Welter, Chaska; and Bill Nelson, Dundas; both zeroed in on the same games between those two towns in the 1998 finals which required the extra game on Labor Day after Chaska battled back through the elimination bracket. Chaska won their game by two runs in the bottom of the ninth and Dundas won the finale,  scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win by one. Welter said, “I will always remember the Cubs playing their hearts out for two games in front of an incredible, boisterous full-house.”
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Next week is the beginning of the school year in Maple Lake and that means motorists will have to keep a lookout for students as well as for the school buses which transport many of them.  A warm welcome to the staff at both the public school and St. Tim’s as they begin another year of teaching the students.  I was impressed with the Irish News that came in the mail last week which included a top-notch calendar of the many events at the school and community. 
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Vanna gave me a solid point Friday while we were walking on one of the wooded trails in Ney East Park. I took a step into the grass ahead of the dog, hoping the point wasn’t on a skunk. I lucked out and it was two mourning doves that flushed and flew into some nearby trees.  Later we had a pheasant hen and one chick fly out ahead of us.  We also heard more than one rooster crowing from the Giebenhain side of the Lake Mary swamp. The dove season begins Sept. 1 as does the bear hunting.  That is also a sign that most of Minnesota’s summer will be over soon and after the high humidity on Sunday I’m ready for fall.  I’m waiting to hear what the DNR has to say about the ruffed grouse and pheasant population, hoping for the best but realistically knowing that the pheasant numbers won’t be good. 
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