Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tullibee are a fun fish to catch. They generally inhabit the deepest waters of the lake and a good place to start is on the deep edge of the flats that are scattered through out the north half of the lake. 32 to 36 feet is prime depth. These fish have a pertinacity to follow lure high off the bottom, and the flashier the better. I have "jigged" them up over 25 feet to the point where I could see them down the hole. Having a fairly small mouth, they will occasionally hit a lure dressed with a minnow head however a nice plumb waxy grub is almost irresistible. I like to use a small panfish jig with a larger hook, say #6, tied about 6 inches below a hook less spoon, something shiny as an attractor. Perch find this combination pretty tempting as well. Drilling a number of holes starting from the top edge of the flat to about 30 yards off the deep edge we immediately started catching smaller perch. Sometimes these little perch will also follow a bait up high before plunging back down to the bottom. When a tullibee hits, you will know it. They are very powerful for their size, violently head shaking all the way to the surface. By the end of the day we had 7 nice tullibees and 4 jumbo perch in the 12 - 13 inch range. I figured we must have missed at least 10 more of the silvery fish as they were biting pretty light. I made a deal with Lory, I'll clean them for you and you make your famous pickled fish. Tullibee is a member of the herring family and have the same texture and flavor you find in gourmet pickled herring (although some may find that a contradictory term). It will be a couple of weeks before they are done but I will let you know how they turn out.
Writing from 38,000 feet, I am on my way back from Denver. Tuesday night we had the chance to take a quick ride through Estes Park, CO and the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. This time of year the town fills with wild elk that use this area as there wintering grounds. I was surprised to see a large number of nice bulls gathered in small groups grazing along the roads. This was an exceptional animal as you can see he has a few battle wounds from previous encounters with other bull elk. His left brow tine is broken, his left ear is pretty mangled and his hair had evidence of past fights. I guess they will begin losing their antlers soon, growing a new set by August. Simply amazing!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Last week I reported the plan was to take put the Brazilians for a Minnesota ice fishing experience. Well Friday I received the call, it was too cold and they cancelled. What!!! Too cold, holy moly, it was only 28 degrees out! Never the less I was still interested in going out to I decided to call the Braselians, Lory and his wife Lynn to see if they were willing to step up to the challenge. Agreeing, we headed back to Pelican Lake for the evening crappie bite. Getting there around 1:00 we moved 2 times before hitting the honey hole. Drilling 2 holes and setting up the house, i was lowering my dead stick bait with a minnow however it wouldn't go down. Little did I know that the a crappie had sucked it in, waiting for someone to set the hook. I had a rather small #10 hook which is not the best for minnows and subsequently lost the next 6 minnows to the initial drop. Finally getting a nice fish, we stayed till dark catching a nice number of fish while bringing home enough for a meal. Not the most prolific day on the lake, it was fun never the less.
Writing this from Anaheim California, the weather is nothing short of fabulous. With temperatures back home below zero, we are enjoying 70 degree days. Attending the Medical Device and Manufacturing Show, the largest in the nation, we get a chance to talk to future customers that may need our services. Working trade shows is a lot more difficult than it seems but all in all it is a necessary to attend and be a player in the industry. I will leave you with a picture from my back lot, a beautiful red fox living in the culvert that drains my water catch basin for the storm sewer system. The culvert is 4 feet or so under the surface and provides a warm environment for the fox. He often is found sleeping on the south facing bank of the catch basin, catching a few rays of the warm sunshine. I hope he sticks around for a while as it's kind of cool to have him around. Hopefully I can get to Mille Lacs this weekend. You will have to put up with one more week of my beloved song, sorry, I cannot help it!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Vic Wenaas owned the Mobil Service (heavy on the service) Station in Eleva. Formally owed my my grandpa Roy, I started working for Vic in 1970 at the tender age of 15. My job was to work the 5:00 - 9:00 shift, pumping gas, washing windshields, checking oil, all those things that one used to expect when you would pull into a gas station. All gas stations were "full service" then and the thought of pumping your own gas was unthinkable. Regular leaded gas was $0.379 per gallon and fuel oil was a whopping $0.199 per gallon. During that summer I had 2 jobs. 3 nights a week loading chickens for Willy Drangsveit and 4 nights a week working for Vic. About August Vic gave me an ultimatum, either quit loading chickens and work for him or quit and work for Willy. I chose Vic and never looked back. I can not even imagine today any 15 year old having to make that decision, as I don't even think they could work until they are 16. One thing it did was give me plenty of money in my younger days. Vic was the most important mentor in my life outside my family. He also had a Ski Doo snowmobile and influenced me to buy my own that year. Managing to save a pretty good chunk of money, Vic brought me to the Ski Doo dealership in Augusta, Wisconsin were I bought a 1971 Ski Doo Olympic 299 single cylinder Rotex engine with a whooping 18 horsepower. I still remember paying $572 cash for my new form of winter entertainment. Those were some of the best times of my life. Along with my friends Jimmy Tollefson, Steve Herbenson, and Tom Peterson, we turned snowmobiling into the major transportation method for the next 3 years. Most trails at the time where simple one width tracks that traveled between major towns and those that owned sleds. My friend Jim had a trail going from behind my house, up through Schultz's pasture, through Indian Valley, up over Old Baldy (a large hill with no trees on it), through Heaths, across O'Krooley's and ending at the Tollefson farm. Jim, his dad Gyle, and brother-in-law Jim Rose had made a number of trails through their back wooded acreage which claimed a number of front bumpers as maneuvering became more difficult as the winter went on. I ran that sled hard for about 3 years, literally wearing it out before trading it to Gary Engen, along with a bolt action 22 rifle and a recurve bow for a blonde stock Belgium Browning A5 shotgun. I still have the shotgun as well memories of those days sledding with my 299 along with Jim and the "Great One".