Brute’s Bleat – February 14, 2018

Mike Muller, who fishes Lake Okeechobee on a weekly basis, said last Thursday the crappies were biting down in Florida for Jesse and himself. Locally, Dean Lake is one of Wright Countiy hot spots where crappies can be had in 16 feet of water. I haven’t been out for a good week, but the sunfish season goes year around and the late ice season is usually good. The problem for late ice is that it is so dependent on the weather. I’m one of those anglers that likes to sit on a pail when the weather permits, and it’s supposed to warm up beginning on Wednesday. Maple Lake is one of those lakes that seem to turn on when the ice thins. One time the crappies were right under the ice in the swimming area and visible as anglers moved from hole to hole to pick up a limit. For walleye, sauger, northern pike, small-mouth and large-mouth bass – the season runs through Feb. 25, 2018. The ice on Maple Lake is usually gone in the first part of April, but it can happen as early as March, as was the case in 2000. Just make sure the ice that you’re standing on is still solid, especially when you need a plank to get to it.

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I was at the VA Clinic in Minneapolis last week, Thursday, and while lunching at the cafeteria I struck up a conversation with a 91-year-old WWII veteran who served with the Coast Guard in the Pacific Theatre of War. He lived in Florida most of his life until his wife died, and then he moved to Champlin to be closer to his children. He was in a wheel chair and I asked him if Champlin had a bus for veterans to get to the clinic. He gave me a big smile and said he drives himself, much to my surprise!

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We’re getting into that time of year when the animals, like skunks, start to come out of hibernation. A deceased friend of the Brutlag family, an outdoorsman who enjoyed trapping, figured smelling a skunk this time of year was a reminder that spring wasn’t far off. So watch for a road kill in the next couple of weeks. . . In the meantime enjoy the Olympics which is being held in Korea. The cold and windy weather has been a big concern, and having spent a little over a year back in 1954 at Inchon on the island off the main land, I remember the extremely cold and damp winds that blew off the ocean.

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I haven’t heard much from the coyote hunters, but without fresh snow from time to time they’re at a disadvantage to seeing where they’re running. This winter has been cold so far but the availability of food for the wildlife should be good. Without any drastic storms, the pheasants should come through in good shape which will help the population survive. Couple that with a good nesting season in the spring, and Wright County should provide some good hunting next fall. Our Setter,Vanna, look and acts like she’s got a year of two of hunting left in her elevenyear- old body. Lately Anna, Vanna, and myself have been hiking it Lake Maria State Park which, when I moved to Maple Lake back in the 60’s, was known as Section Three. The trails there are more hilly than Ney Park and attract hikers like myself and cross-county skiers. There are winter cabins available and one time we met a fellow with a backpack and his dog planning an outdoor overnight camping trip; that wasn’t for me. One time while fishing out of Prothero’s Fishing Camp at the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods I was delegated to sleep in the screened in porch when we ran out of sleeping room in our cabin. All went well until about 3 a.m. when the birds started singing their good morning songs and the squirrels started looking for food. They woke up me up after playing cards the night before and I vowed that wouldn’t happen again. And I don’t mean the card games which were whist.

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The sewage spill into Ramsey Lake last week was a bummer for the lake, residents, and anglers, and will affect it for years to come. Any spill is serious and hopefully this one can be cleaned up to minimize the damage to the lake, which is popular for anglers and for recreational use and it’s residents.

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