Brute's Bleat: April 9, 2014


I found out the skunks are out of hibernation when a former Howard Lake acquaintance, Jim Wackler, commented about his German Pointer tangling with one about a month ago.  He said it took a lot of tomato juice for the dog bath, but it did the job.  He also commented about angling on Lake Constance where he found some large sunnies.  Jim has a scale where he cleans his fish and weighed several that nearly hit the half-pound mark.  I ran into him and one of his fishing buddies at the west Cedar Lake access Saturday morning.  We fished different spots, about a 100 yards apart, and he had the hot hole that morning. He sorted out a limit from the 40 or so sunfish he caught in a matter of a couple of hours.  I was fishing an area that had been hot for another angler before the big snow, but it wasn’t Saturday morning when the only fish biting there were small perch.  I moved out to Jim’s hot hole when he left, but the major part of the bite apparently was over and I ended up donating my meager catch of two to a fellow angler when I decided to hang it up.   On Sunday I teamed up with Daryl Hennen and tried the same lake, same spot about 2 p.m. The nice part about late ice fishing is the holes usually stay open and fishing now is kind of a minimal effort.  We tried a couple of different holes before we zeroed in on some nice sunfish and crappies. It took some sorting, but in about two hours time we each had roughly 15 apiece which we figured were enough to steak out.  I had four nice crappies in a mixed bag on a warm and sunny day which was ideal for angling without a shelter.  There were roughly 30-40 people fishing out from the access and apparently one group, about an eighth of a mile away, enjoyed drilling holes. Judging from how quiet their auger was we figured they may be using an LP-fueled engine and they drilled lots of holes.  With the warm and sunny weather predicted to hold through the week, it’s difficult to know how long the ice will last or how long a person can get from shore to good ice.  It may take a plank soon and when that time comes a life jacket would a wise move even though we had some record-breaking thick ice this year.
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I’m at a loss for an answer why Canada geese often times stand on just one foot after they’ve landed on a lake covered with ice.  I’m guessing the obvious answer is their feet get cold from the ice. Maybe someone can google me the real reason.  Bob Rolfson has been doing some snow geese spring hunting in South Dakota and commented the group he was with last week nearly filled a pickup box with harvested geese one day.  The next day wasn’t as lucrative, according to Bob, who said they were pass shooting near the Sand Lake Refuge and it takes some long-range shells.      .        .     
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Tim Callahan, an avid fisherman, found himself at odds with a DNR officer recently when he was fishing on a lake west of Dent with one of his fishing buddies, Tom Ney.  Ney convinced the game warden to be a partner in a practical joke after the officer had examined Ney’s license, fish, etc.  Ney suggested the DNR officer find Callahan, who was fishing fairly close by, guilty of doing something wrong. The warden went through the usual ritual of a license check which Callahan passed with flying colors. He asked about his fish and Tim pointed out those on the ice he caught. The warden asked Tim where his pail was and when Tim couldn’t produce a pail the warden told him on this lake anglers are required to put their catch in pails as they are caught and not leave them on the ice.  Callahan was apparently dumbfounded, but Ney, who was watching the goings on, couldn’t stand it any longer and the ruse was over with everyone having a good laugh at Callahan’s expense.    .     .    It only goes to show you game wardens can be human, too!
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The warm weather is starting to remind me of things I should have done last fall before a coat of white snow covered everything up.  There seems to be more than the usual amount of debris, branches, twigs, etc., in the back yard which will need to be picked up.  Then there are the patches of leaves which must have escaped my rake, but now stand out like a sore thumb. The ground will have to dry out a little first or a person can do more damage to the turf than what it’s worth.  That may sound like a lame excuse, and it probably is, but there are fish still to be caught!
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