Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back on Lake Pepin

With walleye season closed on Mille Lacs I decided to call my friend Kevin and my brother Steve to see if they wanted to meet me back down on Lake Pepin on Saturday to try our luck again for panfish.  I was really looking for an opportunity to fish against Kevin now that I had his secret rig, a Jason Mitchell Meat Stick.  It also gave my brother a chance to get away from work for a while.  Dropping my wife off at her sisters in Hudson I headed cross-country to Hwy 35 while Steve picked up Kevin in Eleva.  Arriving a few hours earlier I met them on the ice to find out the bite was tough.  Steve had seen a number of nice fish on his underwater camera but they didn't seem very interested in getting caught.  Dragging my Eskimo portable, a hand auger,  and a few of the basics, I decided that based on the temperature projections, would leave my heater in the truck.  Well, that was a mistake.  With my Ice Armor bibs and coat I can usually stand to be outside most of the time, however Saturday proved to be quite windy which sucked the heat right out of your body.   Relenting I set up my portable hoping to at least get out of the wind.  The Eskimo Kwik Fish shelter can be a challenge to set up in the wind as it is basically a sail, catching as much wind as it can as you desperately try to get it secured to the ice.   I did manage to catch a few fish, 6 to be exact with 4 sunfish around 8 inches, an almost respectable crappie, and a perch.   The good news is that although he had a few hours head start on me, Kevin ended up with the same fish count as I, 6.  I can only conclude that given the same set of circumstances, Kevin and I are pretty much alike.  My brother Steve did get a couple fish and because we have had some good successes this year we donated our catch to him so he could at least have a decent fish fry.  The side benefit is both Kevin and I did not have to clean fish. 

Tuesday was my day for tests at the medical clinic.  At 9:30 was a date with the Dermatologist, 10:30 was with the Heart Echo Lab, and 12:30 was with a NeuroOptomologist.  Uffda!  The first appointment with the Dermatologist was to discuss a mark I have on my temple.  With all the time I spend on the water, admittedly my application of sun screen is often secondary to getting out fishing.  In addition I really believe the higher the SPF rating, the more it scares the fish.  Truth be told that SPF really means Surely Poor Fishing!  I do carry that spray type that allows you to apply without touching your hands but often by the time I remember applying it my skin is half cooked.  Well, the doc determined that the mark was precancerous and needed to be removed.  After asking me if I was going to be in a wedding, giving a presentation, or on television within the next 2 weeks, using a small aerosol can of liquid nitrogen he quickly froze the affected area.  He was right, it burned a bit! As he set down the can I was expecting a good lecture on the use of sunscreen, my time in the sun, and other doctorly things you hear once faced with a diagnosis.  Actually he was pretty good about it.  Although my excuse of SPF being a fish repellent must of hit home as he mentioned a couple of others such as gasoline and bug spray, he suggested that I put SFP 30 UVA and UVB or better on my exposed skin before I leave in the morning, allowing time to wash my hands and free my hands from the scent.  I'd be lying if I told you it was probably not expected but you can be assured that I will start taking better care of my face (it's the only one I have!).   To prove that it has crossed my mind, about a month ago while checking out the Maple Grove Gander Mountain store closing, I picked up this nice TilleyLTM6IS Airflo hat complete with a hidden, pull out neck protector and InsectShield.  I am not sure about the insect protection but at least the wider rim and neck protector will help with those raccoon eyes I sport after a good day of fishing on the lake.  Hopefully I can get used to the hat as my good friends always claim that I look good in a covers up more of my face!  My echo went well as my heart shows no changes from my surgery exactly 2 years ago last Thursday.  The NeuroOptomologist was pretty amazing, heck I never even knew they existed.  Searching my records he found a test for Acetylcholine Binding Antibody needing to be run again.  That's a pretty big word and looking it up on the Internet, I am still confused.  Oh well.

This weekend is suppose to hit 60 degrees.  The snow will be melted, Lake Pepin will probably have an ice breaker open a path for the waiting fleet of north bound barges, and the tullibees have not yet shown their intent on Mille Lacs.  I have started putting my Ranger back together and my river boat is in need of a new interior make over.  Maybe some open water fishing is in the cards.  Alas there is much to do to get caught up before Opener just 65 days away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a full time fishing guide I feel my only occupational hazard is the sun. When you're dealing with a 12 hour day of Alaska sun all summet long it's a good idea to use copious amounts of sunscreen. I lather up before I start my day and hopefully remember to do it at least one other time during the day. I do wash up with Lindy No Scent Soap and put on nitrile gloves when I handle cured eggs/sardines. Some times I think we over analyze the whole scent thing with fish too much. Heck, Jeff King sprays down the inside of his boat everyday with ammonia and his boat has caught more fish than a commercial guy does with a net....