Brute's Bleat: March 19, 2014


If you think Minnesota has the edge on panfish and fishing, you, like I, will have to think again after I saw what they’re catching in Arizona.
     Former Maple Lake lake resident, Darlene Pullins, provided this story (in part) and photo which comes out of the Arizona Feb. 26 Parker Pioneer issue and the Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Pullins now lives in Quartzsite, AZ. She referred to enjoying sunfish angling on Maple Lake and commented, “Good fishing in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.”
A pending world record, Arizona style, was yanked out of Lake Havasu on Sunday. Hector Brito's redear sunfish weighed 5.80 pounds. A steroid shellcracker, it was.
If you’ve never seen a 6-pound panfish, it’s time to head to Havasu, where the redear sunfish are likely benefitting from the invasive quagga mussels as a food source.
Brito caught the redear sunfish at 11:30 a.m. and brought it to Bass Tackle Master in beautiful Lake Havasu City, where John Galbraith weighed it at 5.80 pounds on an Arizona Game and Fish-certified scale. It was 17 inches long. Brito caught the plump panfish by the chalk cliffs with a dropshot rig that included a No. 8 Aberdeen gold hook and a nightcrawler.
The record awaits certification by the International Game Fish Association.
The previous record, held by Bob Lawler, was 5.55 pounds in 2011. Redear sunfish have grown to trophy size in Lake Havasu. Redear sunfish in the 2-pound range and larger are regularly caught at this 19,300-acre impoundment on the Colorado River, formed by Parker Dam. Bluegill and redear can be caught around structures such as docks, vegetation, or artificial structure using mealworms, nightcrawlers, or small crappie jigs.
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My fishing source in Florida, Mike Muller, often has commented about the large shellcrackers he catches in Lake Okeechobee, but not as large as the one shown from Arizona.  He may just change winter locations, but don’t bet everything but the kitchen sink on that happening!   .   .    .     Thursday’s warm afternoon prompted Daryl Hennen and myself to try Rock Lake for sunfish. The word was they were biting in 10 feet of water.  There was a lot of water on the ice as we splashed our way across the lake, but no anglers. We found some open holes. Some showed fish and we tried to stay on top of them. Hennen pulled seven keepers out of one hole and I found two nearby before Janis called, apparently lonesome for me! We figured the nine would make a good meal for Daryl and Kathy.    .     .    I’m seeing a few pheasant  roosters picking gravel along the road on my way to walk Vanna in Ney Park. Another bird watcher, not in the park, commented about seeing a small flock of hens and roosters now that it’s warming up.  The pair of resident bald eagles in Ney Park were both present one day last week. One was on the nest and the other in a nearby tree.  It would have been a good Kodak moment, had I been carrying a camera.
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The crowd might have been down a little for ML’s St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday.  It was cool, but it wasn’t raining or snowing and we can be thankful for that.  The parade had a lot of variety besides the visiting royalty and ambassadors and the one unit that caught my ears, if not my eyes, was the Atwater Threshers/Lazy J Ranch. They outfitted a semi tractor with a variety of huge air horns that spectators couldn’t miss unless they were deaf.  Besides promoting their celebration in August, a sign on each side of the truck candidly asked, “Can You Hear Me Now?”
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My congratulations to the Annandale Cardinals on their trip to the Boys State High School Basketball tournament where they were second only to the long and lean cagers from Esko, the 2A champions. The Cards will be a team to be reckoned with next year. We wish them well.
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