Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rude Awaking

After getting use to the weather in both Key West and San Jose, I woke up this morning with the realization it's not going to get any warmer in Minnesota for a while. With a crisp -10 degrees this morning it is a full 95 degree temperature swing from what I experienced 10 days ago. Oh well, life up north! With that in mind a last reminder and parting shot from Key West. Although it is hard to see, on the left side of the brown pelican is a ripple and another one just below, are the back fins of those large tarpon living in the harbor. As we were cleaning the fish both the tarpon and the pelicans would compete for the scraps. It was a pretty interesting sight as the fish were exceptionally quick to dispose of anything thrown over, including the carcasses we cut up and the skins. Tarpon have huge gaping mouths and made quick work in a single gulp. I asked if anyone tries to hook these monsters and was assured that the marina would not look kindly on the person who would attempt this. It was an interesting surprise to see these beautiful fish.

After being gone for 8 out of the last 10 days, I came home to the snow and cold. Although my neighbors help out in clearing the snow there is still much to do. I have a Polaris 800EFI with a plow which makes short work of my pole shed driveway and the back road to my trailer storage area. It took most of the day to clean up everything, just in time for another 3 inches Sunday night. Saturday night was the neighborhood Christmas party at the Botner's and it never disappoints. Unfortunately I tend to stay to the very end which was 3:00 Sunday morning. Of course this had a direct affect on my plans for ice fishing on Sunday. Like a good trooper I did make it out to Pelican Lake for the evening bite.

Assuming the ice would be about 4 - 6 inches thick and I would need to walk a bit, I decided to take my old Swedish Mora 7" hand auger. It's not been used in years and figured it was probably a little dull, the thin ice would make it tolerable. I have a Nils Master 4 1/2 inch auger that slices like butter however I wanted to use my Vexilar in the hole and 4 1/2 inches is pretty small. For these early excursions I have a small portable 1 man shelter that my friend Bill gave me. It fits perfectly in the back of my Suburban and is easy to pull around. Arriving at the lake and walking out about 1/4 mile, I picked a likely looking spot, quickly discovered that my auger was significantly duller than I had imagined and the ice was at least 10 inches thick. Rocking the auger back and forth, 15 minutes later I had a hole through the ice. Normally I drill 2 holes, one for my jigging rod and one as a set line however that wasn't going to happen this time. Luckily I brought a heater with and soon had a warm and cozy place to fish, and fish I did. Usually one can nail a few sunnies as well the crappie bite always gets going at dark. I guess someone forgot to tell the fish and I did not rule out the mental game as getting home at 3:00 takes it's toll! I did take a picture of the lake with a few guys scattered around me. A quick census showed I was not alone. Oh well, it was good to get out seeing the swans flying back to the river and listening to the owls hoot their chorus of sounds was worth it. Next week I will get more serious.
One thing nice about fishing on the northwest side of the Twin Cities is that Cabela's stands in the way of my journey home. They had a sale on an item my Cousin Greg introduced me to, Fleece Lined Jeans. At $24 a pair, they are one of the best investments for the winter. It sure beats having to wear long johns! So to Greg I say Thanks.....Thanks A lot. I'll be looking for the big crappies next week. Also, take the time to check out this weeks post by MT Bucket (see the link on my left sidebar). All I can say is I am jealous!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's nasty cold for this time of year. I got my house out on 12/12 but three different times this week my year old Honda ATV wouldn't start.....a long, cold walk off the lake. Light vehicles will likely be on the ice by this weekend.

Keith in Brainerd