Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bonjour from Montreal

I am writing this post from Montreal (no Eric not Montreal WI!) Quebec. Fishing has been slow so I spent the weekend finishing up my brother in law's landscape job that his wife Suzy asked me to help with. He has been struggling with cancer and I have offered to get some stuff fixed up around the house for them. It was hot but after 3 weeks I was able to completely redo their landscape edging around the house. I looks real nice and it's one more thing that they don't have to worry about.

I always drive down Wisconsin Highway 35 on the east side of the Mississippi River. This winds it's way along Lake Pepin though Diamond Bluff, Stockholm, Maiden Rock, Pepin before meeting the river just south of Nelson Wisconsin. I will put a plug in for the Nelson Cheese Factory. At one time it actually manufactured cheese however I think their current store which sells cheese, wine, gourmet items, and ice cream is much more successful. I have never been in there where it is less than 4 deep waiting for an ice cream cone, still $1.00 for a single and $2.00 for a double. It's a nice break. As you head south on 35 past Nelson, to the right is Big Lake. Being an old river rat we pass familiar haunts like Indian Slough, Wilbers, Thachers, Catfish Slough, The Cutoff, Railroad Slough and the Oil Tanks. As I passed these areas a lot of memories also passed by. Kevin and I would fish these areas every weekend through the summer. We were not much walleye fisherman then but we sure hit the bass hard. Here is Kevin holding a nice bass we got in the slop up Catfish Slough. I believe this was taken in June of 1981 as I have bought a new Lund in 1982. It's surprising to see that Kevin had a good start on his beer gut even back then! He is sitting in my first boat, an narrow aluminum Starcraft that we bought from Paul Wichmann. With a 15 hp Evinrude it was a great first boat for the river. I replaced the cross seats and made a new transom, added a trolling motor and real swivel seats. That boat could really catch the fish. Our arsenal consisted of daredevils, moss bosses, spinner baits, Johnson Silver Minnows and here Kevin caught this fish on his favorite, a Miller Wobbler with a chunk of Uncle Josh's Pork Rind on the back. Our technique for bass was pretty elementary, cast into the carpet of duck weed and slowly work it back on the surface. The bait coming over these thin layer of weeds would leave a distinct trail, recording its path back to the boat. When a bass did hit, it blew a 2 foot hole in these weeds, often missing the bait and leaving an interesting history of what just happened. The pork rind really added that extra attractant however the fish often grabbed the end of it rather than up higher into the hook. A quick recast would often be enough to have them hammer it again and the fight was on. Back then we would definitely eat a fish like this! As stated, walleyes really didn't even exist as a viable game fish. Of course today it is completely opposite, the bass go back and the walleye's get deep fried! I really miss fishing with Kevin and have made a promise to rekindle the "Good Old Days". Sitting on the tarmac in Chicago I got a nice e-mail and decided to call him. It's settled and we will get together like days of old. I am looking forward to our date.


NeenahPete said...

The fishing details you can remember from 28 years ago! By the way, I see you've been getting a pretty impressive collection of visitor flags! The secret's out!

Dave Anderson said...

Yeah, I can't wait to see Kevin's reaction! The flags were your idea.

Anonymous said...

Well like I have always said a good friend never goes away only become closer and closer the older we get. Now that some of us are retired the fishing dates are wide open and I will be waiting for the call from my old pal and we sure will do our best to share the old miss again. Oh that stud in the picture has a great body, just well fed.

later buddy

Anonymous said...


It was a balmy 80 today, so no complaints. Just got back from the pool and our tan is working better. See you on the left coast soon.

Steve and Linda

P.S. Your Packers are losing by 11!