Brute’s Bleat August 3, 2016

Thanks to Nick Pawlenty for providing an interesting column last week about his weekend fishing efforts on Rabbit Lake and the Crosby area mining disasters which must have been devasting for the families involved. I normally write the column Monday morning, but last week I was an out-patient at St. Cloud’s VA Clinic to have four stones removed from my bladder. All went well and I was home by about 3 p.m. I was back on Maple Lake Wednesday morning hoping to find some hungry panfish when the humidity and temperature were both high. I fished a spot I have neglected for a couple of years and believe me the bite was hot. Vanna and I decided earlier we’d stop with ten keeper sunnies and that took us about an hour with pieces of leeches, some dead and a few alive for bait. I gave both Mike Muller and Daryl Hennen a call that I would pick them up at the boat access dock, but didn’t get any takers. I caught a few crappies and switched to my crappie rod and artificial bait. I used a small brown crayfish on jig which must have driven the crappies wild. As soon as the bait hit the right depth, about 12-13 feet, a crappie would inhale the bait and the fight was on. They were nice-sized, the largest 11 1/2 inches, and we practiced catch-and-release for about a half hour of fantastic angling. We moved to one of the more traditional spots and found the sunnies were biting there as well, so it had to be the weather. George Palmer and I gave the same lake a try on Friday and, once I found the spot, angling was again great. I don’t have a GPS unit on my boat so we were using triangular land-marks which I thought I had etched in my mind. Obviously I didn’t! We didn’t find as many crappies on Friday, but the 34 sunfish in the livewell were enough to clean and a cold Grain Belt wound up a good trip. . . On Saturday morning I got Evan Hennen out of bed about 8:30. He had been to the demo derby at the Wright County Fair, but he was willing to give angling another try even though we had been skunked the last time out. We anchored on the hot spot and immediately started to catch fish. It took some sorting, but after a couple of hours of teasing the sunfish with artificial and live angle worms, we decided to hang it up. It was Saturday and the pleasure boats and water toys were letting their presence be known. Anyway, we ended up with 25 sunfish and three crappies. We tracked down Evan’s dad, Bradley, and he was more than willing to help us fillet the catch in our backyard. We had some small yellow-jacket hornets attracted to the smell of fish cleaning, but they seemed content to be nothing more than pests, not the stinging kind!
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On the way home a week ago Monday, Janis and I had a large buck deer, still in the velvet, cross the highway between Clearwater and Hasty. Janis said there were two more behind the buck, but they weren’t on a collision course with us. I went home from the ball park Saturday night in the top of the ninth because the mosquitos were terrible. The Lakers were behind 6-1, but came back to tie the game in the ninth and went on to defeat Jordan in the 12th inning. ML plays Loretto Friday night, 8:30 p.m., at Loretto in their first Regional Playoff game. Delano and Maple Plain play at 6:00 p.m.