Brute's Bleat March 2, 2016

I’m still waiting for the sunfish to turn on the feed bag, but it appears that won’t happen until late ice which won’t be this week, but it’s not far off. On the other hand I’m not hearing much bragging and suspect that means not much action!
My neighbor, Rick Heberling, was part of a six-person group that fished in North Dakota on Pelican Lake for two and a half days, Feb. 21-23. They were Bart, Tom, Jordan, Dominic Lauer, Rick and a friend of Jordan, Ryan.
Rick said this is their second year on Pelican Lake which is connected to Devils Lake. They stayed at a resort, West Bay, right on the lake and had to travel about a mile to where they wanted to fish. West Bay is a former farm turned into a resort because of the rising water from Devils Lake over the years. He commented their cabin was attractive, small, but adequate for their needs. “Everyone had to be seated before we could eat,” he laughed.
He was impressed with the Northern fishing and said they caught a total of 51, 25 Saturday, 23 Sunday and 3 Monday morning before they left. They were fishing with tip-ups and had lots of flags. Dominic had one huge Northern which broke his steel leader and another one they couldn’t see which also got away. As for bait Rick said they used all dead bait, smelt, sardines and suckers, some left over from previous years’ trips to Lake of the Woods.
In addition to the Northerns, they caught 3 Walleyes. Tom had two and Rick (left) had a 22-incher Monday. Bart had the largest Perch, 13 inches, of the 3 caught. Of the Northerns Rick had the largest, 35 inches, which equates to a 10-10 1/2-pounder.
Daily Northern limits are 5 with 10 in possession and Rick said they came close to the 60 fish limit. He felt one of the benefits of fishing Pelican was all of those caught were keepers. Ice anglers can fish with four lines each and they used two-person tip-up shelters. Rick said the lake is full of fresh water shrimp and he felt that may have been the reason they didn’t catch many Walleyes or Perch. The lake has about 23 inches of ice with kind of a low visibility. He commented some of the fish apparently were attracted to their Vexillar transducer because it would move around at random. Once they could see it was a Northern about 5 1/2 lbs. that seemed intent on pecking at the fresh water shrimp on the transducer. They put down bait, but the Northern apparently preferred the shrimp and didn’t pay any attention to their bait.
All in all Rick figured it was a good fishing trip. The weather was tolerable with not much wind, and he liked the proximity of the cabin to their fishing spot, better than last year when they had to travel over 10 miles.
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I noticed some corn harvesting going on off Hwy. 37 and one fellow was doing some early season digging (hard for me to understand) while on my way to the Irish-Cardinal basketball game. The Irish lost 49-65 to a scrappy Annandale team. Maple Lake had a good season. As a “Johnny come lately” I saw only the final three games and they were fun to watch. ML played good defense, but obviously needed a little more scoring. I figure Rockford will defeat Annandale.

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