Brute’s Bleat by Harold Brutlag

A group of six anglers consisting of Rick Heberling, Tom Lauer, Jordan and Dominic Lauer, Ryan Young, and John Breeze had three days of great fishing on Devils Lake in North Dakota two weeks ago where they limited out on Northerns, 10 each; plus taking 12 walleyes and one perch. The catch of the trip was a 31-inch Walleye caught by Ryan Young on Friday evening. Heberling said there were hoots and hollering coming from the fish shelter when Young realized how large the walleye was. He said Jordan Lauer gave Young a hand and had to poke the walleye a few times to get the lunker’s nose to come up through the hole in the ice. Young plans to have the fish mounted and it will compliment another large Walleye at the Young residence, which he caught in Canada. He was using a gold colored jig tipped with a minnow head when the fish hit his bait.

Heberling said the group caught 28 Northerns on Friday, five Walleyes, and one Perch their first day of fishing, 26 on Saturday, and 14 on Sunday, when he thought the Northerns were less active. The group ate four of the Northerns which Heberling said were included in their take home fish. There largest Northern was 15 lbs., numerous in the 10 lb. range, with the balance 6 to 4 lbs. They used Sun Dogs for bait. The only casualty of the trip happened when Breeze was attempting to remove a treble hook from a Northern and he imbedded one hook in his finger. They called on Jordan Lauer, a Registered Nurse, who used his expertise to remove the hook. Heberling said he had a Northern bite off a steel leader, something that doesn’t happen very often.

He said it was cold all three days, but they had some sunshine. They had to use extensions on their ice augers which means the ice was more than 36 inches thick. There was a fair amount of wind which drifted a large bank on front of his truck, he said, but all in all it was a great fishing trip.

After another dismal fishing trip with George Palmer on Friday afternoon when we gave away the few sunfish we caught, I decided to try it again Saturday morning and was on Rock Lake fishing by 8:30. The wind was relatively quiet and I caught several fish right off the bat of which one was a keeper. By 9:30 a.m. the activity had slowed down and the wind had picked up. I’ve never been impressed with an east wind for fishing and I’m giving that the reason for the turn of events that morning and I called it quits at 11 a.m. With several inches of snow falling Monday morning while I’m putting this column together, and another four to eight forecast Monday night, my fishing will be on hold for a week or two until the sun shrinks the snow enough for easier moving around on the ice. I’m hoping this will be the final snowstorm of the season, but the State High School Basketball Tournament hasn’t been played yet and that’s a perennial harbinger of late storms.

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Maple Lake’s St. Patrick’s Day festival will be celebrated on Saturday, March 17 and that won’t escape the snow, but we’re hoping for a warm day with little wind. Regardless of the weather, St. Patrick’s Day will attract a ton of fans for the events planned that day. It’s the first parades of the season for Wright County with both Maple Lake and Waverly participating. Back in the fledging years of the event Waverly was a regular at the Maple Lake parade and often would go through the parade route twice. They had a great time and it was fun to have them join us. Make your plans now to run in the Irish Scamper, and join friends and neighbors at the other events and the parade. It’s a day when everyone can put on the green and enjoy being Irish whether you’re Irish or not!

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