Brute's Bleat September 28, 2016

Fishing on Lake Osakis last Tuesday wasn’t a total disaster as fishing goes, but we’ve always heard it’s kind of a fickle lake, on one day and off the next! I think George Palmer and I and a host of other anglers caught one of the off-days. Armed with some mud minnows and advice from personnel at the bait shop to fish shallow and up to 25 ft., we made an attempt to find some walleyes. The lake has a 15 -inch minimum. Not getting any bites after an hour or so of hunting, we switched to sunfish as others on the lake were doing. Two fellows said they had been out for nearly two hours without anything to show for it. We were in about 8 ft. of water on a hump when the sunfish Palmer is holding (10 1/2” when smoothed out) inhaled a piece of nighty. We figured we’d hit a honey hole, but that wasn’t to be. Palmer’s big sunfish was the only keeper either of us caught and it was released later along with a huge rock bass I caught. Later in the day I had a strike fishing with a minnow on a jig and figured I had finally nailed a walleye. It ended up being a hammer handle northern, the only real thrill I had all day. But as the saying goes, a poor day of fishing is better than a good day at work!
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On Thursday afternoon I switched to the hunting mode looking for a ruffed grouse north of Motley. I figured it would be a good day if I heard a flush, based on the opening weekend reports that filtered my way. I had one flush on the first trail I walked, but couldn’t see the grouse. On the way to another trail I stopped and talked with a county road flagman when he motioned with both hands palms up. He was from Walker and saw one grouse on the opener and another fly across the county road while flagging. He’s not pleased with the influx of turkeys and figures they may be detrimental to the ruffed grouse population. I did a little road hunting later in the day, but didn’t find any grouse on the forest road. Vanna and I hunted two more trails and we had one grouse flush out of a tree on the opposite side of the trail Vanna was hunting. I didn’t get any points out of her, but we talked with another hunter in the same area who flushed a covey of three and harvested one. He was from the area and commented he had only about an hour to hunt and was pleased to bag one. There’s lots of underbrush and visibility will get better after a killing frost. . . There seems to be plenty of deer in that area and we counted a group of seven feeding in the right-of-way. One smaller fawn was trying its best to get through a woven wire fence. Closer to home we saw a large buck standing on the shoulder of Hwy. 75 just west of Hasty. We hit the brakes to slow down and watched an oncoming vehicle in our rear mirror do the same thing when they spotted the big deer.
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I’m sure the farmers are appreciating the wind and sunshine which helps dry out top soil as well as the beans and corn for the fall harvest, but it doesn’t do much for late season sunfishing. It did give me a couple of days to take off the window screens, wash windows and storm windows which should give me some points with the better half for fall fishing and hunting!

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