Brute’s Bleat February 3, 2016

Craig Muyres, one of the guardians of Maple Lake, stopped by with a fish story from a recent fishing trip to Lake of the Woods with his son, Cory, who lives in Sauk Rapids. He was needling me in a nice way because I’m still looking for some to keep and I was pleased to find out someone is catching fish. Craig said they fished five days running and he “out-fished the kid” by catching 8- and 10-lb. walleyes and one 10-lb. northern. In fact, he figured he also caught the most fish. Besides limits they enjoyed four fish fries in Craig’s camper at Arneson’s Resort. He said they fished deep for saugers and moved to a reef for walleyes and brought home limits, 4 saugers and 2 walleyes. He gave his son a pat on the back, commenting he cut all the holes, provided transportation on the lake, and did most of the cooking. “It doesn’t get much better than that!” he said.
Another angler let me know last week the crappies were biting, but it wasn’t on a local lake. It was Mike Muller who heads to Florida each winter and fishes with his buddy, Jessie, on Lake Okeechobee, one of Floridia’s fresh water lakes. They caught 30 crappies with the largest 15 1/2 inches with most of them slightly smaller. They also caught some bass and he said they tossed back some catfish. On a previous bass outing with his nephew, Mark, their largest was 6 1/2 lbs. with 7 or 8 more than 3 lbs. He was impressed with both efforts, but he didn’t win the money ($60.00) for the largest bass which went to Mark. He made my mouth water when he said he stopped on the way back to his apartment to pick up some fresh sweet corn for himself and friends! Getting back to the reality of fishing around here, George Palmer and I tried Granite Lake Wednesday, got nothing except some too small sunfish; moved to Rock Lake about 1:15 p.m. where there were numerous anglers and more came later. Some had hauled their angling houses out with pickups, but being I had a conservative former banker with me, we chose to hoof it. We moved around quite a lot south of the access, but for all practical purposes we could have stayed in one spot. We fished until 3:30 p.m. and by then the NW wind told us to hang it up even though the word was the sunnies start biting after 3 p.m. I don’t think they ever did that day. I gave Cassidy Lake a try later in the week, but came up empty there, too. Sunday’s warm January thaw weather enticed me to let Daryl Hennen know I was going back to Rock later that afternoon. He was more than eager and his grandson, Evan, joined us when we decided on a late afternoon run. We fished north of the public access and found some sunnies in about 15 feet of water. They started biting around 3:45 p.m., but it wasn’t a feeding frenzy and by 5:30 Daryl and Evan had three on the ice they might have kept if Grandpa Daryl had felt more like filleting them. I didn’t have a keeper in the dozen I caught, but it was fun getting bites. Maybe, just maybe, they’re starting to get more active!
Tom and Denise Blizil headed for Lake of the Woods early this week where they planned to fish out of Ballard’s Resort for a few days.
It’s a rare day in January that’s suitable for outdoor grilling in a short-sleeved shirt, but that’s what Fireman Bart Lauer was doing Saturday evening for the Maple Lake Fire Department’s annual banquet. Shown with him are Todd Jude, Steve Peterson and Kirk Larson.