Thursday, August 14, 2014

Catfishing for Harold

Otto's first Mississippi fish
I am fortunate to have a lot of great friends in the neighborhood and one of those is Ricky Shermer.  Ricky is younger than me and 10 times crazier.  We both garden and have apple trees, enjoy working outdoors, and possess the same cynical attitudes about many things including politics.  Generally what's mine is Ricky's and what Ricky's is mine if we every need something.  He has a real nice Kabota zero turn monstrosity of a lawn mower and coupled with a dethatching unit and a vacuum system works wonders for getting the yard in shape in the spring.  Rick likes to get up early each day and you can always tell if he's been around checking out the place as there's a motorcycle track in the yard where he drove his scooter, verifying that your onions aren't as big as his!  I have been telling him about my latest adventures on the river when he asked me to do him a favor, "My dad, Harold Shermer loves catfish and next time when you go out and catch a few, save some for him".  Well, that's about as good excuse as any to get back out on the River and try our luck.  After getting a few chores done around the house I called my other neighbor Otto to see if he'd like to go with me for a couple of hours.  Now Otto is not much of a fisherman but when I added that there would be Jameson served in the boat and he would really have to do very little but sit there and enjoy the tranquility, he couldn't refuse.  After asking him to humor me for 5 minutes while I casted a crankbait into the shallows for that huge smallie I missed last week, we headed below Cloquet Island, scene of last's weeks success.  Dropping the anchor in the current break it would be a simple strategy, night crawlers on the bottom and a Jameson in the cupholder.  It wasn't long before we got a few small taps, the kind catfish are notorious for which stripped our hooks.  Otto finally hooked a nice golden redhorse before we finally got a keeper sized channel cat, maybe 16 inches.  Putting that on the stringer we continued to get bites and ended up with 3 catfish before it got too dark.  After getting the boat put away the fish were cleaned, vacuum packed, and frozen for Ricky.  Here's hoping his dad Harold is going to like them because there's a lot more where they came from!  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the catfish, oh well.
Tony Schumacher

Sunday my wife Lyn and I went down to Independence Wisconsin to the annual Fall Fest.  It was fun to see all of our friends that we have known for over 40 years now.  It's interesting how much old fashioned bread, coffee cakes, and baked goods are sold there.  I can guarantee you that you'll never find this kind of home cooking in the city.  After stopping to see Lyn's uncle and aunt, Bernie and Nellie, the next stop was at Kevin's to retrieve my motorcycle GPS that I let him use of their trip to Glacier National Park.  It's actually a pretty nice GPS and is completely waterproof and shockproof.  With lifetime updates, the maps are always the most recent, sometimes I'm surprised how quickly they are updated.  Friday will be spent at BIR (Brainerd International Raceway) to attend the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals featuring all of the top drag racing stars in the world.  Another good friend, Kevin Sonsalla has pit passes to Tony Schumacher, the #1 guy in Top Fuel Dragster racing today.  It's a lot of fun to stand next to the guys working on the engine, it's amazing that they make one run then completely tear down the engine and rebuild it, all in about 90 minutes.   BIR is the fastest track in the country, so fast that the quarter mile has been reduced to 1000 feet to add additional stopping distances needed.  Interesting that the cars have reached the same speeds as they once did in the quarter mile, amazing.  I should have pictures for next week.

I'm hoping to get out again this weekend, the river continues to drop which really concentrates the fish.  I am bound an determined to find out where the walleyes are!  Maybe even try to get Harold some more catfish fillets.

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