Brute's Bleat April 26, 2017

The great weather over the weekend was too nice for me to do much around the yard, but I did take time out on Saturday to remove the storm windows (we’re still old-fashioned and have the wood type) and put on the screens for the summer. We didn’t have a need to mow the lawn yet, although a lot of people around town have their yards mowed. I managed to get out on several lakes beginning with Maple Lake a week ago Monday where I tried some shallow spots and found a few sunfish, but no crappies. A 2 1/2 lb. bass gave me a thrill when it bit just off the rushes and later a rooster pheasant cruised between me and the shoreline without as much as a cackle to give him away. The largest sunfish were 7 1/2 inches and just short of being keepers. On Friday I heard the sunfish were biting on Lake Sylvia and tried my luck there where I found the sunnies in shallow water. I used my fly rod and a spinning outfit, catching fish that seemed to be after bugs and flies. I had one dandy crappie with the fly rod and nine keeper sunfish when Janis called to let me know I was late for supper. I took a look at the fish in the livewell and knew she’d be impressed, but not enough to want to fillet them, so it ended up another catch-and-release day. I was using wax worms and minnows, plus some plastic and the fish were aggressive enough to hit most anything. A local angler fishing from a dock commented about getting a nice mess of crappies, but that wasn’t the case on Friday. He said Lake Sylvia is one of the lakes where Starry stonewart (an invasive species of weed algae) was found last summer and he figures the access will be closed this year if the weed persists. Starry stonewort are grass-like algae that are not native to North America. The plant was first confirmed in Minnesota in Lake Koronis, near Paynesville in Stearns County, in late August of 2015. It sounds much more serious than the blue-green algae that’s present in many of Minnesota’s lakes now. I hope the DNR and the Lake Sylvia Lake Association can come up with a solution in the near future. My next fishing effort was Saturday afternoon when Daryl Hennen needed to make an initial effort to find out if everything is working properly on his fishing rig. It was and in the process we tried angling on Ramsey Lake. The boat dock was still on shore at the access, but we, Daryl, Vanna and myself, managed to get aboard without getting our feet wet. We fished a reported hot spot for crappies which wasn’t difficult to find. Two other boats were there when we arrived about 3:30 p.m.! Regardless it was a nice couple of hours and we each caught a large crappie and enough sunfish to make a meal for Hennen and his bride. Two of the fellows in the hot spot had a limit of crappies between the two of them when we left. I didn’t get out on Sunday, but there were quite a number of fishing rigs in the Hwy. 55 access on both days of the weekend. . . My brother, Charles, and a friend went to Lake Traverse which is border waters and open for walleye fishing on Saturday. Charles said he figured they had a good day boating five roughly 20-inch walleyes on their first effort on that lake. Lake Traverse is unique because its southern tip is at Browns Valley on the Continental Divide and water flows from Browns Valley south into Big Stone Lake while water in Lake Traverse flows north, eventually into the Red River. We used to get close to that lake when we hunted pheasants in the Beardsley area several years ago. I also made some tentative plans with Charles for our annual Lake of the Woods trip the first part of June. We’re up to seven people this year from five last year and that means bringing along a little extra food. As great as the walleyes taste at our daily shore lunches, we like something different for an evening meal to complement cheese, sausage, herring and crackers we can make a meal out of when necessary. Charles said he’s bringing some venison/beef burgers along this year which he insists will be a treat for all of us. We also talked about opening weekend fishing in Ottertail County and as both of my brothers, he and Marlin, and myself are retired we figured we’d play that weekend by ear and fish if the weatherman cooperates. If he doesn’t we’ll hold off a few days rather than take a beating on Ottertail Lake. . . Another thing on my to-do list is to get back to Irish Stadium and watch the ML Irish baseball team in action. I haven’t been there since the Annandale game and Hunter Malachek’s alert pick-off at second base for the final out when a Cardinal pinch-runner strayed a bit far off the bag for a 2-1 Irish win. They play a double-header at Holdingford on April 27. They’re back at home May 4th playing a double-header with Pierz. On May 10th Rockford plays here.

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