Brute’s Bleat May 10, 2017

My promise of a glowing report on crappie fishing didn’t materialize as planned, but it wasn’t the fish’s fault. On Tuesday George Palmer and I had good intentions, but we didn’t find the crappies or sunfish on Ramsey Lake cooperating at all. In fact, the cold snap must have put them back in deeper water. Our next effort was on Maple Lake where we found some quiet water, but no fish. We spotted Mike Muller tending to his back yard and took time out to visit with him since he’s no longer in the theatre business and is back for the summer from Florida. It took about a half-hour and then we let him get back to working on the lawn trying to get rid of some striped gophers. The milfoil is starting to be a problem, but most of the area lakes, in general, are very clear. George and I tried a few other spots, but failed to find any hungry fish and made plans to give angling another try the following week. I made a solo effort Friday, first back on Ramsey where there were plenty of sunfish visible, but the shore was plastered with signs that said that part was being treated to control weeds. We, Vanna and I, tried fishing there, but the sunfish weren’t biting, not that we would have kept any from the chemical infested area, but we found it kind of strange that they didn’t bite. Our next effort would have been Rock Lake, but the wind was against us and seemed to be increasing in velocity as the day wore on. We figured Maple Lake would give us a little protection and we found a few sunfish, but no crappies, in a shallow bay. We kept the keepers (6) and decided to call it a day. I didn’t get out again over the weekend, but found out anglers were getting some sunfish and crappies off the shore at the Sportsman’s Park on Silver Lake and also the fishing pier at Annandale’s Pleasant Lake. A hot spot on Ramsey Saturday was the south end for sunfish, but the milfoil is beginning to affect fishing in the shallow water. . . The walleye season opens this weekend and my two brothers (Charles and Marlin) and myself have modified our plans slightly. Rather than wait in line at one of the accesses on Ottertail Lake at the crack of dawn on Saturday we plan to hit that lake late Sunday afternoon and evening, assuming most of the weekend warriors will have headed home by then. We’ll probably fish the same lake again on Monday and maybe Tuesday. Charles pointed out the three of us (all retired) have never fished together, out of the same boat, on an opening weekend so it’s something we should do. Marlin commented there seemed to be a lot of activity on the lakes, especially Rush, already last Saturday, because of the great weather and the pending opener. I suspect shiner minnows will be the favored bait, but there’s always the chance that nighties or some plastic could be effective, too. . . Co-worker and design editor Don Dittberner showed me a photo of a limits of slab crappies he and a couple of friends caught last Saturday up in Ottertail County which made me drool. He commented about scouting in the clear water and seeing one especially large Northern and also watching an eagle swoop down and pick up a crappie for lunch.
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This is about the time of year the Morel mushrooms start popping up and I’ve noticed a few vehicles parked in various spots in Ney Park, apparently for that reason. The lilacs are about ready to bloom, another indicator for the mushroom season to begin. Because of the threat of a new type of deer tick I would urge shroomers to use a repellant and also tying your pant legs to help ward off the ticks. Someday I’d like to be like this shroomer, who told the DNR, As the naturalist at Whitewater State Park in southeast Minnesota, Dave Palmquist always tried to help other people find morels. But morels don’t always offer themselves up when he wants them to.
“I was heading home from work, driving east from Elba, and on a north-facing slope, I saw this big old dead elm in just the right state,” said Palmquist, now retired. “So, I walked up to it, and under just one tree, I found 112 morels.
“Here I lead morel programs, and I don’t have anyone with me. I’m just by myself with no camera, and that’s my ultimate morel experience.”
The Laker baseball team came up with an extra-inning win over the Cokato Kernels 5-4 Sunday afternoon in the local park. They play the Waverly-Montrose team Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Irish Stadium. There are some new faces on the Lake team, including some MLHS Irish who split a double-header with Pierz last week, losing an 11 inning game 5-4; and winning the nightcap 4-1.