Brute’s Bleat August 9, 2017

I managed to steal a couple of hours on Tuesday morning (Aug. 1) for an attempt at sunfish fishing. I found them from 14 to 17 feet and culled out nine before the sunshine and humid temps told me it was time to quit. Off hand I’d say the earlier the better and the overcast skies seemed to be a plus as we’re heading into August. I gave it another try on a cool Saturday when I didn’t think the lake would be inundated with pleasure and recreation boats. I was wrong, but regardless, I managed to accumulate a dozen sunfish in a matter of an hour and a half. My eight-pound bell anchor wasn’t enough to keep me in one location when the wave action moved me off my hot spot. Because I lost a crappie rod last summer because of negligence on my part I picked up another short fly rod at a Salvation Army store for a couple of bucks. I outfitted it with monofilament line on a spare fly rod reel I had in my collection of used fishing items. It took a little getting used to, but ended up being fun when an orange belly sunfish latched unto the piece of leech I was using for bait. It took a little eye-hand coordination to keep the line tight and I lost a few in the process.
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This area received 1 to 1 1/4 inches of rain Thursday morning when the pitter-patter began sometime before 5 a.m. We were dry, but not to the extent of the western part of the state and the Dakotas where some of the ranchers have been forced to sell off some of their beef cattle for lack of adequate pasture. The norm in times of dry years in North Dakota is 10 acres of pasture per animal.
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The Region 12C baseball double elimination tournament is in its final week and #4 seeded Buffalo seems to be the team to watch. They knocked off Dassel-Cokato 9-1 in their first game and followed that with a huge 4-1 win over #1 seeded Hutchinson Saturday evening. Maple Lake, with the Loretto win under their belt behind the pitching of Hunter Malachek, was paired with Howard Lake, a 5-4 winner over Delano, Saturday night. Maple Lake won the game 12-8 and while that is a decisive score, it wasn’t a typical win. Both teams had too many errors and the Lakers will have to tighten up the infield for their next game, Buffalo, Friday night, 7:30 p.m. Mitch Wurm was tough on the mound and it was great to see him back toeing the rubber. Derek Rachel’s towering home run was another bright spot. Both teams have qualified for the state tournament and will be playing for seeding rites. Region 12C sends four teams to the state tournament which will be played at Green Isle, Norwood-Young America and Hamburg this year. The other two teams will come from the loser’s bracket and will be the winners of Howard Lake vs. Dassel-Cokato and Hutchinson vs. Loretto. State tournament action gets underway Friday, Aug. 18th, finishing up on Labor Day at Green Isle. It’s time to get out the road map!
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Anna and I gave our Setter, Vanna, a ride past Doug Starry’s pheasant farm last week when the wind was blowing out of the east to see what her reaction would be. We rolled down her window and the pheasant scent put her on high alert as she watched Starry’s birds feeding along the fence. She looked intent, but didn’t jump out of the window. I remember our previous Setter, Blue, bailed out of our Suburban window one day when I shot a grouse off the road up north. I don’t expect the same reaction from Vanna, who has a more mild temperament. She’s a good pointer, but it’s taken me a few years to understand her antics in the field. I hope to get her out in the grouse woods this fall as a preliminary to pheasant hunting. Who knows, the grouse season might be the better of the two, although I did see a young rooster fly across a township road last week. Anna and I also saw eight Sandhill cranes one day. They’re a large bird and easier to see than those sneaky pheasants, although Brian Hedman said he saw a huge covey of pheasants out by Granite Lake. He figured they may have been from two hens because of the numbers.
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We’ve been enjoying fresh ear corn, which reminds me of Richard Demars’s method to pick the good ears. He said the best way is to smell the ear of corn and if it smells sweet it will be good eating. Try it the next time you’re at the city’s Farmers Market and let me know what you think!

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