Brute’s Bleat August 16, 2017

Fishing Wednesday morning, Aug. 9, was good for George Palmer, high school student, Michael Miller, and myself even though there was a rain storm forecasted and signs of it were readily visible. Miller kept us current with his smart phone and we left the lake just as it started sprinkling. I got lucky and put the three of us on a hot spot where the sunfish were hungry and aggressive on Maple Lake. It took a little sorting and after an hour or two we had 30 keepers in the livewell along with one bass. The sunnies liked the pieces of leeches we used for bait and we all caught fish. Palmer had one side of the boat to himself because he was sitting in the middle while Miller and I shared the port side (that’s the left side for all you land-lubbers). I think Palmer might have grabbed the middle seat so he wouldn’t have anchor duties! Normally we fillet the fish in the shade of a black walnut tree, but it was cool and the rain forced us inside of the garage which worked just fine. We were impressed with the size of the Maple Lake sunnies and released lots which, had it been winter, we probably would have kept. We found them in 13 to 17 feet of water and my Vexlar was showing a lot of red. Anyway, it was a good couple of hours and Miller filled us in on a recent cross-country flight he made to Brainerd as part of his training while he’s working toward a pilot’s license. Obviously he likes flying and said he’s planning another cross-country trip, this time to Alexandria. I think Palmer was envious of Miller’s flight training because it was something he went through in his younger days. He commented he was scheduled for a required medical which, if he passed, could put him back in the left seat of an airplane. Recently Greg Thomes took Palmer for a plane ride up to Brainerd for lunch and that may be why he’s getting itchy about flying again. . . Howard Lake baseball fan, retired James Wackler, fishes a lot more than I do and does it mostly from docks on a variety of lakes in Wright County. He likes Granite Lake and Brian Hedman’s dock where he’s caught a lot of sunfish this year. Granite is hot for sunnies right now in about 15 feet of water. He’s been at Dassel following the Howard Lake Orphans and the Maple Lake Lakers who are both in the state amateur baseball tournament. The Orphans were defeated by Hutchinson 5-4 Aug. 12 and seeded fourth. Buffalo was defeated 14-4 the same night by Hutchinson and seeded third after losing to Maple Lake 3-2 Aug. 11. In the Region 12C championship game Sunday Hutchinson was the winner 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth over ML and that gave Hutch the number one seed. Maple Lake chose two pitchers from Loretto, Colton Petron and Jake Braun, and Michael Leffler from Dassel-Cokato. They finished the playoffs with a 22-11 season record and will play St. Joseph at Hamburg, 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18th. Brian Redemske had a solo home run Sunday and Derek Rachel had a round-tripper against Buffalo Friday. Hunter Malachek was a tower of strength on the mound in the Buffalo game and Luke Fobbe has come on strong as a closer for the Lakers in three recent games. A Laker win on Friday would mean a 7:30 p.m. game against Jordan on the 26th at Green Isle. Go Lakers! I, for one, didn’t think the Lakers would be in the state tournament this year after losing two of their strengths, hitting and pitching, through retirements and moving out of state, but those voids are being filled by graduated and high school ML Irish who have come to the rescue to help out the veterans. The future for the Lakers looks good and will get better as these young athletes mature.
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On one of our daily walks in Ney Park last week we flushed five young pheasants that looked to us like birds from a second hatch. They were flying, but it was more of a flutter. Hope they stay in the park during the hunting season where they can find insects, etc. I doubt if they will have much color by the Oct. 14 opener. On our way to Dassel Friday Daryl Hennen and I had a young pheasant fly across the road and Conservation Officer Rick Reller commented Saturday he’s not seeing very many, but did come across one covey. Mourning Dove hunting begins Sept. 1 as does the bear season. Ruffed grouse are fair game Sept. 16th and woodcock a week later, Sept. 23rd. Mix in an early goose season Sept. 2-18, archery deer hunting Sept. 16 and a tentative waterfowl season Sept. 23 and you’ll hardly have time to mow the lawn.