Thursday, June 13, 2013

Broken Record

Our new Ice Freezer

My life in the last 4 months consists of either funerals, weddings, graduations, or simply waiting for the endless rain to stop.  This week was no exception as on Saturday we headed to Columbus, Wisconsin which is east of Madison, for a 1:00 funeral then turned right around back to Eleva for my nephew's high school graduation.  Having little time to spend with anyone, at least if I got the day accomplished successfully, it would leave the hope of heading to Mille Lacs on Sunday for a little walleye fishing.  Waking up to a pouring rain which was working it's way north, and with the wind howling out of the east, I just didn't have the desire to fight the elements, not good.  On the other hand my friend Bill had something we wanted so my neighbor Tim and I decided to take a road trip north to pick it up.......a genuine commercial ice storage freezer.  See Tim and I went together to buy a commercial ice making machine a few years ago assuring we both have all the fresh crystal clear ice we need for the long summer.  It's great for fishing, traveling, drinks, whatever you need ice for, it's there for the taking.  We had a small freezer that we would store extra ice in as it's good to have a stockpile on hand.  This spring our freezer quit working so we needed a replacement.  In the meantime I spotted this beauty in Bill's basement, something to do with storing bait but it never worked very well.  So on Sunday we gave her a new home.  I guess the whole point of it is more about having something cool verses something practical.  The cool factor always wins!  I have access to pre printed ice bags in 2 sizes, 8#'s and 20#'s so we have a few years worth of those in stock as we have started replenishing our stocks.  With the cool weather, the ice maker will produce about 50 - 70 pounds of clear ice per day.  Here Tim is filling bags as we get ready for warmer weather (if it ever gets here).  Once the outside temperature reaches 85 degrees the ice maker really slows down its production so our plan is to rely on our storage capability, which just increased significantly.  We figure it will hold about 1000 pounds of bagged ice, enough to take us through any warm spell this year. 

Ben's new fishing pole

Graphite fishing rods came on the scene about 35 years ago, first in expensive fly rods then expanded into both casting and spinning rods.  Although very light and sensitive, those first graphite rods were pretty brittle.  As technology advanced, companies began to improve on the materials used in high end rods and one of those advancements for the time was Bass Pro Shop's Boron Elite.  Boron was a stiff but durable material, not as light as graphite yet helped the issue of breakage.  Having to have one I ordered it from Bass Pro along with the latest Abu Garcia casting reel with magnetically controlled line braking.  A sweet rig for sure as at the time high end casting reels had pistol type grips providing a more ergonomically designed handle.  Today you don't even see these as this type of grip left little leverage behind the reel seat.  Either way it was at the time "state of the art" and was a great rod for fishing bass and northerns.  One year I lent it to a good friend Pat Holmes, who was going on a fly in trip to Canada.  Pat and his friends got trapped in a forest fire that was heading straight towards them.  A helicopter arrived just in time to pluck them from a point on the lake yet there was neither time nor room to take any equipment with them.  So much for my new rod and reel! Pat's insurance covered it so after receiving my check I simply ordered another one.  Today the reel sits on the shelf, I am going to use it to make a catfish rig for the river.  As for the rod, time has blown right by the pistol gripped Boron rod.  At the time Bass Pro was charging $79.95 for the rod, about what standard graphite's were.  After staring at it for about 20 years I finally decided it needed a better home and along with a nice Zebco 33 reel, I gave it to Ben, my friend Jack's son.  Ben never says much but Jack assured me he was in seventh heaven, one that specializes in fishing.  The pistol grip is perfect for him and the boron is almost impossible to break.  Ben will need to stop by the pole shed more often as I have a lot of things to get rid of!  Here is a picture of Ben holding his first northern caught on Platte Lake with his new pole.  I'm pretty sure there is a lot of luck left in that fishing pole.

I picked up the boat from Formula One, a propeller and skag repair shop in Rogers.  They did a great job as both the prop and skag look brand new.  I have had them do work before, like the time I hit Indian Point going half throttle, that wasn't as cheap as this repair as they had to replace a bent prop shaft.  Stainless steel props are nice but they have zero give when they hit something.  This time the prop hit a rock as I back up in idle speed, much easier on the motor.   Friday is our big golf tournament and I am looking forward to what Jay may have brought this year, in the past I have bought a few nice things at the silent auction as he always brings something nice.  Last year I bought a Marcum Showdown for ice fishing.  I haven't decided which day will find me on Mille Lacs however Sunday looks like the best day of the weekend.  All I know is the walleyes are starting to bite and here I am chomping at the bit. 

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