Brute’s Bleat: May 7, 2014


It’s difficult to guess right when it comes to where to fish for the walleye fishing opener on Saturday, but I’m not inclined to head north. That’s mostly because the cold weather we’ve been having also affects the walleye bite. The female walleyes usually don’t start getting aggressive much before Memorial Day and a late spawn won’t help.  A better option would be to fish the local lakes or if you like to travel, Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota/South Dakota border at Ortonville might be an option.  The opening weekend is a big deal for Minnsota anglers and good weather has a tremendous effect on the businesses associated with this form of recreation.  I’ve noticed a few anglers fishing from shore, apparently for crappies in the creek between 494 and Fish Lake west of Hasty.  They weren’t shoulder-to-shoulder and I couldn’t take my eyes off the road long enough to see if they were getting any bites.  If I can get  my boat seaworthy by Saturday, I might find time to look for crappies on Maple Lake     .      .      .      For others who figure Brutlag doesn’t have a clue on where to go Saturday (they’re right), they might want to heed the words from the DNR chief, Tom Landwehr, who said in part, “only in Minnesota can you catch a basket of jumbo perch and dandy walleyes in Big Stone Lake near Ortonville, then head downstream to Lac qui Parle near Appleton and relish the great crappie bite. A short jaunt downstream, near the towns of Olivia and Redwood Falls, 50-pound flathead catfish are caught with regularity in the Minnesota River.”
Or, if like me, you live in the cities, don’t go far at all, because only in Minnesota are there so many of these opportunities readily available in a metropolitan area. The Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers are all there to be enjoyed, as are hundreds of lakes with public accesses or public fishing piers.
We have 800,000 registered boats in the state. Hunting and fishing is a $2.4 billion industry here. Visitors to our parks spend about $280 million in this state. And visitors to our trails add $2.6 billion to our local economies. Spring is when we get outdoors, and after this long winter, we are anxious to do so!
Minnesota is truly an outstanding place. This fishing opener, get out-of-doors and experience the life that only Minnesota has to offer. What’s your excuse?  The fish are biting.
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I live on Linden Ave. North and on Monday I was met with the Road Closed signs on Division Street which meant I had to detour to get out to CENEX for a cup of coffee.  It’s going to be an interesting month or two while the city has Linden Ave. rebuilt and some improvements made on Division Street’s water main and sanitary sewer.  I’m sure I’ll find time to be one of the resident sidewalk superintendents during the street rebuilding project and that gets me kind of excited.  I’m not looking forward to driving on a dirt road or in mud when it rains, but I suspect it’s something all of us on the avenue can cope with and I’m sure the contractor, Latour Construction, will do what’s needed to keep the road passible for the most part.     .       .
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My walks with Vanna in Ney Park have been kind of uneventful the past week. Sure we see a lot of waterfowl, ducks and geese, and I’m convinced both species really enjoy flying. Neither Vanna nor I get close to them at all, but they still like to take off and land seemingly at random. The teal are less likely to fly and seem more content to just swim away to the far side of the water.  I’m not seeing any blooming wildflowers, blood roots, etc. yet and I think I’ll put a hold on Morel mushroom hunting for another week unless we get an 80-degree day.  Some shroomers say wait until the lilacs are ready to burst, others say to watch for the jack-in-the-pulpits. Both can be good indicators, but there’s nothing like heat and humidity to make them pop.  I picked a wood tick off Vanna Sunday and that’s just a hint that we might be getting close to that magic time for mushroom hunting.      .       .  
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Spring is a good time for automobile shopping and apparently was back in 1914, too, according to the Upper Falls News, a newspaper in Red Lake County.  The following paragraph was reprinted in the Thief River Falls as follows under a Join Gasoline Crowd heading: “Glen Martx, Harry Ives and H. K. Skromme purchased automobiles in Minneapolis last week. Mr. Skromme’s machine is a five passenger Oakland car, Harry Ives acquired a 40 hp. Jackson and Glen Martz, a 40 hp. American Scout Roadster. ”   .      .      .      Martz drove his car back, while the other two were shipped.      .       .      some of my readers may recognize those vehicles, but I can’t remember hearing about any of them!