Thursday, January 17, 2013

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Huge Non-Typical Whitetail
Last week was dominated by 2 major events, attending the St. Paul Sportsman Show and the Saturday night Green Bay Packer/San Francisco 49er's game, with maybe some ice fishing in between.  It's probably easier to start with the fun aspect of last week and deal with the not so good later!  The St. Paul Sportsman Show is the first of the year, not as large as the Northwest Sportshow, but a great way to start 2013.  My friend Lory Brasel and our Wisconsin Sales Rep, Dan Dominski decided to tag along for a night of entertainment.  This show has more what I classify as non sports related exhibitors, guys who sell salsa, surplus junk sellers (there are some good deals), cookware, yet still has an interesting mix of things to see and buy.  One of the more interesting booth was the Steve Porter's Live Trophy Buck exhibit, where they brought in a trailer with 3 huge bucks they had raised from birth. Along with the trophy bucks was the genetic history of each as well as the sheds from each year to demonstrate how these deer mature to such beautiful animals.  It was certainly interesting as these deer seemed very comfortable being the stars of the show.  As every show goes, one cannot leave without buying something and this year was no exception.  The first item was an innovative LED lighted slip bobber which had 2 colors and used standard button type batteries.  A guy was selling a slip bobber knot device for $5 which had a lanyard, line clipper, and extra line....just had to have one of those.  Next was a couple jars of locally made salsa before I bit on an 18 inch Rapala EZ Glide knife for $10.00.  The retail on the knife was $39.95 but I think its probably been discontinued as it is a bit long.  I figured if I got good at it, I could skin 4 fillets at once!  Of course the highlight was meeting Keith, his wife Jane, and their son Mac, who flew down from Anchorage to spend some time with his parents.  After trading a few things I bought in China for him with some eco-friendly cleaner that they used in their fish cleaning house on the Kenai, we settled in at the Liffy for a couple pints of Guinness and something to eat.  Hopefully I can find the time to get out fishing with Keith soon.

Muskrat in the yard in January?!?!
I did go fishing on Saturday, before the game.  With only a few hours my destination was either going to be Little Pulaski Lake in Buffalo or possibly Pelican Lake near Albertville.  A stop at the hardware store in St. Michael to get bait the guy at the counter confirmed they were driving on Pelican, with 15 inches of ice, you could go anywhere.  My mind made up, it certainly would be easier to unload my portable and drag it 20 feet rather than the 150 yards at Pulaski, as I would not have trusted the ice there.  As I approached the landing to drive on the lake there was a pickup truck going about 40 mph, headed straight for me.  Stopping before driving on the ice, I waited till he was on shore then rolled down the window and asked the conditions.  I really wanted to give him a lecture but he was about 17 years old and would not have listened anyway.  As you travel on the ice with a vehicle, it creates a wave of water ahead of your travel.  The faster you go the larger the wave, sometimes to the point where you hit a weak spot and the ice blows up in front of you.  Idiot!  I set up in 9 feet of water and immediately started catching fish, small bluegills.  By 5:30 I only managed 5 keepers and they were questionable.  It was cold and I really didn't see any point in taking pictures so we'll leave it at that.  Rushing home to watch the Packers, I cleaned the fish, gathered my refreshments and went over to my neighbor Tim's to watch the game on his huge 10 foot projection TV.  That's about all I will say about the game other than there is always next year.   I did want to show you an unusual thing that happened on Saturday morning, one of our cats disappeared behind the house.  Walking around the garage, the next thing I saw was a standoff between it and a muskrat, Lord knows where it came from.  Apparently it had been eating in the ground bird feeder and our cat Rocky probably thought he had died and gone to heaven.  You see Rocky is a legendary mouser, let him outside and before you know it he's got a mouse ready to chow it down.  It's pretty amazing how careful he eats his prize catches, starting from the head, he downs everything but the entrails.  I am sure Rocky assumed the muskrat was the biggest mouse he had ever seen and was contemplating his smorgasbord.  Unfortunately this mouse fought back and he was keeping his distance!

So with the Packers eliminated from further playoff action, I plan on heading back to Red Lake for the weekend with Mark Applen.  Our intent is to spend a few days fishing then pull his wheel house back to Mille Lacs.  Talk is the bite has slowed down but one never knows as you will never know until you try.  One thing for sure, it's going to be cold.  According to the weather reports Minnesota is expected to see the coldest air in 4 years.  Projected to be over -20 below zero, it could prove interesting yet one things for sure, it will be making ice like crazy. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best day of the entire sport show is Thursday night. Fun as always.