Viewpoints

Wed
22
Mar

Brute's Bleat March 22, 2017


Kate Heberling edged Bill Eccless with this 39 3/4 inch Northern while fishing on Lake of the Woods early in March. His was 38 1/4 inches. Kate’s father, Rick Heberling, said this year’s entourage consisted of 10 anglers who fished Mar. 4 - 7. Besides Kate, Ann and Jason and himself, the others were Todd and Bill Eccless, Tom Lauer, Jordan Lauer, Eric Lemke, and Dianna Hermosillo. They had two days of excellent weather (36 and 48 degrees) on Saturday and Sunday. Monday was foggy and windy and a blizzard on Tuesday cramped their style. They caught a total of 23 Northerns and Walleyes along with some perch and an 8 lb. Poor Man’s Lobster (Eel pout) which Rick said was delicious. Kate threw back a 13 inch perch, another delicacy of that lake, when she got some incorrect legal fish size information unintentionally, I think, from her cousin, Jordan.

The latest harbinger of spring at the Brutlag household are the tulips on the south side of the house that are showing about two inches of stems. That’s more than enough fresh food for the neighborhood rabbits to nibble on. This has been an unusual winter for Minnesota with the Central Minnesota lakes opening up March 9th only to freeze up again last week (a first in my lifetime). The Mar. 6 three tornadoes, thunder and lightning, and the March 13th snow adds to the confusion as we head into spring. Local gardener Patrick Lahr figures two lake openings in one year has to be some kind of record (one opening still to come as of March 20) and suggested a new chart for record keeping is in order. A portion of the East Coast wasn’t spared by the Mar. 14 storm either. Phyllis Bowen, friend of mine who lives with her husband, Harry, in Merrimac, MA. (north of Boston) said she had her snow shovel ready anticipating lots of late season snow.

Wed
15
Mar

Brute's Bleat March 15, 2017

I barely got into the Messenger office Monday when I received a call from Dale Welter, Chaska, who has a wealth of town team baseball information and statistics between his ears as well as some of his exploits in other areas. He was a former room-mate of mine (behind Ed’s Barber Shop) while on the ML high school faculty years ago. Along with the box scores from town team baseball in the 1940s and before which I need to review before publishing, was a story about Welter winning the Hamm’s Hit a Homer Contest at the Metropolitan Stadium back in the ‘70s. Welter was 29 years old at the time and one of the contestants. His was a 380-foot “blast into the right-field bleachers. Over 2,000 people tried to do the same, but failed.” His prizes were a trip to the World Series in New York with his bride, Yvonne, and a case of Hamm’s beer each week for one year.

Wed
08
Mar

Brute's Bleat March 8, 2017

My last attempt at late ice angling was a solo effort on Maple Lake Feb. 28 when it took me too long to find any sunnies. I was on a time restraint from the better half with a request to be home by 11:30 a.m. Actually, I was out earlier than normal 9:00, but didn’t find any sizeable fish until about 10:30 when my first keeper hit my wax worm. The next two sunfish were also keepers and then some smaller fish moved into view. I was sight fishing in about five feet of water and two feet off the bottom. It was interesting to watch how cautious the larger sunfish were. Sometimes they’d swim up to the bait only to back off and let the small sunfish nip away at the waxie. Most of the time the larger “keeper” fish would keep their distance and hit the bait sometimes when I switched to a different rod and jig. I kept six that I wasn’t ashamed of and I made Janis happy when I showed up only a half-hour late!

Wed
01
Mar

Brute's Bleat March 1, 2017


Dittberner with a 14.5-inch perch caught on a jigging spoon. (Photos submitted by Don Dittberner)

Fernando Songstad with his 23- inch walleye from Devils Lake.

It sounds like Devils Lake in North Dakota was the place to be recently if you like fishing walleyes and northern fishing. Six anglers, Bart and Tom Lauer, Jordon and Dominic Lauer, Ryan (Jordan’s friend) and Rick Heberling, have fished in North Dakota, but mostly on Pelican Lake for Northerns. As a group they harvested 42 walleyes off Devils Lake and 3 off Pelican, 48 Northerns off of Pelican and Devils Lake, fishing with tip-ups. Their perch came off Devils Lake. Rick said his largest northern was 10 1/2 pounds. He said Jordan had the largest walleye, 21 inches, and Bart had the largest northern, 13 lbs., and a 14- inch perch. Their walleyes ranged from 14 inches on up to 21, releasing anything under 14 inches. Rick said this year was a huge contrast weather-wise, 39 degrees compared to the -18 and -25 they fished in three years ago when their final day was still colder, near -40, too cold to fish.

Wed
22
Feb

Brute's Bleat February 22, 2017

I finally got back on Maple Lake Feb. 13 when George Palmer and I gave that lake one of our better efforts. It wasn’t a fast bite for either of us but Palmer out-fished me six to two. The small northerns seemed to be feeding, and in some cases just swimming around and stopping sometimes to take a look at the wax worm. I was sight fishing in about six feet of water and had one stop dead center. It was reluctant to move, even though I dropped my jig on its nose several times. I finally moved to a different hole. The eight were enough for a meal for George and we quit about 4 p.m. . . I was back on the lake Wednesday for a couple of hours and sorted out two keepers before releasing them. The sunfish liked to swim up to the bait, bump it sometimes, but more often would just swim off. Two other anglers had been out the day before fishing in Tuesday’s wind. Both said sight fishing had been much better.

Wed
15
Feb

Brute's Bleat February 15, 2017

Sad to say I haven’t been out fishing for about three weeks, something I’m changing this week. The fishing grapevine tells me small sunfish are biting on Maple Lake, but check the shoreline for a safe place to get on the ice. Steve Loch says there’s an open hole out from the access that’s about 3 feet deep. Anglers were still driving on the lake over the weekend and there’s about 18 inches of ice, but with sunshine and warm temps the shore ice is the first to go. . . There were several anglers on Pelican Lake Sunday and two motorcyclists were out for a spin Saturday east of Buffalo. Another lake, Moose, in the Lake Sylvia area has been producing suspended crappies (23-24 feet) in about 40 feet of water.
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Wed
08
Feb

Brute's Bleat February 8, 2017

I was an Atlanta fan Sunday evening and figured they had the game in the bag after three quarters, but I was proved wrong once again when the Patriots pulled off an overtime win. As for the game commercials, which get a lot of hype, for me it was a toss-up between Mr. Clean and Skittles with Skittles winning that contest. There was lots of glitz and glamour in Lady Gaga’s halftime show, but this year’s Super Bowl will be remembered for being the first overtime game in its history, and for the way veteran quarterback Tom Brady rallied his team.
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Wed
01
Feb

Brute's Bleat February 1, 2017

My thanks to Nick Pawlenty for pinch-hitting for me and his OnStar practical joke was a good example of what can happen when a group puts their heads together for some fun. In this case getting OnStar travel directions in the dead of winter on a Minnesota lake from a representative answering from down south who probably had never seen a frozen lake!
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Wed
25
Jan

The Weekly View January 25, 2017


Laramie Carlson, head chef of Burrito Union in Duluth, MN, snapped this amazing photo of a perfect imprint of an owl attack. It even shapes the ears, feathers, and wing beats. (Photo by Laramie Carlson)

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Hello, all, I am taking over for Harold once again as he will be missing for the first part of the week and he asked me to take over. Of course, it is no Brute's Bleat, but I will try my best! I will not be writing a "Tales From a City" as I have not been anywhere too interesting to talk about or any place that I haven't already talked about, so this will be a good time to talk community, hockey, food and an ice fishing practical joke.

Wed
18
Jan

Brute's Bleat January 18, 2017

Last week’s column about a practical joke involving four lady anglers got a fair amount of reaction from our readers. Now we’re looking for other practical jokes that we could use in this column. The late Leo Dircks, proprietor of Dircks Fairway with his brother, Al, seemed to come up to some type of nonsense in his spare time and if you were a recipient of a practical joke manufactured by Leo, or someone else, we’d like to hear about it. Send it our way, Maple Lake Messenger, Box 817, Maple Lake, MN 55358.
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