Brute’s Bleat: July 9, 2014


Between fishing, baseball and observing the 4th of July the past week has been an interesting one, to say the least. The Lakers had two wins, 1-0 with their nemesis Howard Lake last Wednesday and a 5-0 win over Loretto Sunday night to boost their undefeated record to 18-0. Going the distance for the Lakers were Mitch Wurm and Jeremy Schmidt, respectively.  Sunday night’s crowd was the largest ever this year which can be attributed in part to the Trevor Pribyl benefit which preceded the game.  The benefit raised approximately $12,000 dollars and was deeply appreciated by the Pribyl family. The Lakers play here Tuesday against Montrose-Waverly, Wednesday against Mound, and Friday against Delano. All are 7:30 p.m. games. On Sunday they play Maple Plain. A change in locations for the 12C Regionals Tournaments has been made. The games originally were to be played in Delano, but the high water in the Crow River threw a curve into those plans and Maple Lake will be hosting those games which begin on July 30th. So there will be lots of baseball in ML right up to State Tournament time. 
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I tapped Maple Lake for a nice mess of sunnies one day last week when I found some in about 13-14 feet of water.  It took some sorting, but that is part of the game when fishing on Maple Lake  .    .     .     On Friday I paired up with Daryl Hennen and we fished Maple Lake again, but earlier in the morning to avoid the 4th of July crowd.  The bite was steady for the 2 1/2 hours we were on the lake. Both of us were impressed with the size, so much so we started measuring some of the larger sunfish. We had two over nine inches and quite a few females over the eight-inch mark. As the true conservationists we are (don’t laugh), we put the females and the nine-inchers back.  As the late Marian Kloss used to say about the late Eddie Raiche, “why does he keep those big ones when the smaller sunfish taste better!”  .    .     .     We knew we were on the right spot when lake resident Craig Muyres pulled up in his pontoon and gave us a hello. He commented several years ago he kept track of me fishing Maple Lake by recognizing our English Setter (Blue) who insisted on riding on the bow next to our trolling motor.   .    .    We decided to give Maple another try on Saturday morning. This time Daryl’s grandson, Evan, went along when we decided on a 7 a.m. start.  We started catching fish almost immediately and it was apparent Evan wasn’t a stranger to his rod and reel.  He felt fishing was more fun than going to school, which didn’t surprize me. The wind was reported to be 8 mph when we started and it seemed to gust up a few notches, enough for our boat to drift off the spot despite using two anchors.  We were catching fish all the way from 13 to 17 feet down. We continued our conservation efforts and released most of the females with many of them in the eight-inch variety.  We also released all of the punkin seeds which in most cases were huge and extremely good fighters.  We ended up with keeping 34 sunfish which took the three of us less than an hour to clean. It was obvious from the get-go Evan wasn’t a stranger to cleaning fish and paired with his granddad skinning out the fillets.  Vanna went along all three days and tends to behave well in the boat. Maple Lake is getting pretty weedy, but that didn’t seem to hamper the pleasure boaters over the 4th of July weekend. At one point on Sunday they ran out of parking space and used Hwy. 55 as a back-up.  The going home traffic on Hwy. 55 Sunday was extremely busy, more so than Thursday evening when it was backed up from the stoplight to the Cenex store. I’d say that was a record since I’ve lived next to the highway (40-some years) and understandable because of the great weather over the holiday weekend. I was content to watch the fireworks on TV and tuned in on the New York display was outstanding to say the least. Very colorful, constant and it seemed to last forever, to the point I was getting bored and flipped to another station.  
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Reconstruction of Linden Avenue wasn’t a problem over the weekend and those in charge left us with a hard Class 5 gravel surface which was a huge improvement from the rain-hampered effort that went on for several weeks while the gas line, water main, man-holes, sewer hook-ups and storm water drains were put in place.  From my sidewalk engineering post it looks like bringing the road up to grade and installing the curb and gutter will be next.  I can see the end of the tunnel!