Brute's Bleat September 27, 2017


Palmer was deadly using a black and white jig tipped with most any type of bait. Can’t you tell by the smile! When he ran out of pieces of leeches we started using up the nighties which were equally as effective. He is shown with a 3/4- lb, one of several that length he put in the livewell. (Photo by Harold Brutlag)

Last week I made reference to mowing the grass, washing storm windows, etc. and none of the above got done. Mostly because it was just too hot and there were promises of cooler weather this week which should make those tasks easier. On the other hand the cooler weather might be more conducive to getting back on the grouse trails to see what’s happening.
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The hot weather kept me off of the lakes until Thursday when I took daughter, Anna, and our Setter, Vanna, to Indian Lake. Apparently Vanna is smart enough to know what’s going to happen when I hook up the boat to the Suburban. She apparently didn’t want any part of fishing that day and chose to retreat to the porch door when I opened the vehicle door for her. It was kind of comical, but at the same time maybe she knew the fish weren’t biting that day. She finally consented to go along reluctantly and took her place in the bow of the boat. There were several other boats on Indian that morning and some were obviously bass anglers casting in the shallow water. We tried several spots which should have produced sunfish, according to my Vexlar, but they didn’t so Vanna may have been right and we all could have stayed home. It was still a nice morning to be on the lake, and hey, if you don’t catch any, you don’t have any to clean! That doesn’t make it a win-win situation, but it was a nice couple of hours to be on the lake, especially in September.
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Earlier in the week George Palmer and I decided we should get out on Saturday, Sept. 23, because that was the only day we both were free from other commitments. As you may recall Saturday was a hot, humid morning, ideal for sunfish angling. Vanna again decided she preferred to stay home, so we obliged her wishes. We armed ourselves with six leeches left over from the last time out (they’re hard to come by this time of year), some night crawlers and a couple of jars of plastic baits. George had the hot hand again and reeled in numerous sunfish from 8 1/2 to 9 3/4 inches while we fished in 16-17 feet of water just on the edge of the weed line. It was a great several hours of fishing and we stayed pretty much in one spot, moving only a few yards when the bite slowed. He provided me with a duplicate jig that he was using which helped me to pick up the pace. I’m kind of stubborn and I didn’t think it would have made any difference, but it did. It was lighter in weight and the way it floated down might have made a difference. Anyway I started catching more fish, thanks to him! We both wonder why larger fish, like he was catching, are hard to come by in the winter. It’s still a mystery to us and probably one we’ll never solve! We shared a portion of our catch of 28 sunnies with my brother, Lloyd, and his wife, Mert, who live in Elk River. Lloyd is no longer able to enjoy his favorite pastime. They was so impressed they asked me to stay for a steak dinner Sunday! I left about 6:30 p.m. and got caught in a brief cloud-burst while on Hwy. 169.
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As for grouse hunting, Mike Lauer and his son, Jordan, hunted in Hubbard County and saw one and harvested that one. They were obviously disappointed and Mike figures he can cross Hubbart County off his list. He figured they had about five other flushes. They also hunted in the Paul Bunyan Forest without any success last week. He commented two fellows working on some of the trails hadn’t seen any birds, which was also a disappointment, considering this is supposed to be when they’re peaking. Tom Lauer was in the Warroad area for four days and saw only one bird. It sounds like the Bemidji area has lots of fall colors, but the Duluth area is still real green which kind of tells me to head further northwest.

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