Brute's Bleat March 30, 2016

I’m getting on the anxious side of pulling my boat out of the backyard and re-installing the depth finder, batteries, and in general, making sure it is ready for another season of angling. Greasing the bearings on the boat trailer is also on the to-do list as well as plugging in the lights to see if the turn signals work. Turn signals are really a necessity for safety, especially if you’re using the Maple Lake access off busy Hwy. 55 where there aren’t any turning lanes. Checking over the rods, oiling the reels, testing the line strength, and reviewing the inventory in your tackle box or boxes are other things that I should have already been doing, but I’ll blame it on the Sweet Sixteen basketball games. I had picked Kansas, but now that they’re out I haven’t any excuses! I haven’t mentioned fly fishing, but that’s just around the corner, too. The rod and reel are still on the wall, as well as my waders, but I did lay in a supply of knats and timberwolves to get me started when the water warms up a bit. Steve Loch said the temperature was 41 degrees in a lake they were exploring with scuba gear about two weeks ago. One local fly fisherman gave Clearwater Lake a try, but didn’t get any takers. He said he could see small sunfish, but they weren’t interested in his flies. It can only get better! Give area lakes a week of warm sunshine and the crappies should be in shallow water, but until that happens I think I’ll be busy with the mundane things listed above. There are some new or modified Experimential/Special Regulations for anglers to be aware of this season on some of Minnesota’s lakes which are listed in the 2016 Fishing Regulations book. I’d suggest keeping a book in your tackle box so you’re up-to-date on the changes, or at least review them before the season opener which is May 14th. Northern pike anglers may face new regulations in 2017 if the Minnesota Legislature moves ahead with the DNR’s proposal to divide the state in several sections which would affect Northern pike limits within each section. The ultimate desire is to have more trophy fish available to anglers. . . too late for this year, but something to keep in mind for ice anglers is late season perch angling on Big Stone Lake. One local group of four took limits on that lake earlier this year. And, as you know, they’re as good, or better than eating walleyes!
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I’m seeing and hearing some cardinals in the woodsy part of Ney Park while I’m out with Vanna. One day some birds I couldn’t identify by their shrill sounds or see them apparently were being harassed by two bald eagles flying overhead. The eagles left without capturing their prey, either because of the noise or they didn’t like Vanna and me being in the area. We also saw two deer one morning when we chose to walk one of the back trails. On my walks in the eastern portion of the park the geese and ducks were having a field day in the slough with most of the geese already paired off. There is an occasional crow from a pheasant rooster (I wish there were more) and the sand hill cranes seem to be more noisy than previous years. The cottontail rabbits are pruning the tulips on the south side of our house which is slowing up the blossoms. Apparently there are more rabbits than cats in our neighborhood!
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Richard Desmarais has been keeping an eye on a leaning silo, affectionately referred to as the local leaning Tower of Pisa, off County Road 6, and commented Monday morning the cement silo collapsed over the weekend. . . There are others in Wright County that seem on the verge of falling down as well as some of the barns that were an important part of the dairy industry when farms were smaller and farmers combined dairy herds with hogs, chickens, and sometimes sheep, and earlier a couple of teams of horses.

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