Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Respite From Red

Pete's Medium Size Northern
After a full Christmas vacation spent at Red I decided to stick around home this weekend and try to find some crappies on Saturday.  My friend Pete usually has a handle on the local scene and there were some good reports coming out of Lake Sarah, just east of Rockford, MN.  Having a waypoint of interest, we met at the landing and headed to a small hump on the other side of the lake.  Drilling a bunch of holes on the top and along the edges, Pete immediately started marking fish that were more than willing to come up off the bottom.  It looked promising yet soon we were getting some 4 inch perch, not too encouraging.  After an hour Pete did get a nice northern pike considering the size one normally gets and I decided to take it home.  Although not the best at removing the Y bones, practice makes perfect and to be honest, northern pike taste pretty darn good as the meat is white, flaky, and firm.  After sitting another hour we decided to sit over a deeper hole hoping that the crappies would come through sometime.   It wasn't going to be our day.  We were fairly close to the landing and because of this we had some interesting conversations with fishermen walking back to their cars from what did you catch to a gentleman asking if we could help him determine if his recently acquired Marcum LX-3 flasher worked the way it should.  Using a lead depth finder you attach to the line, we were successful in acknowledging that he made a good decision, even though Pete and I were using Vexilar's.  The weather was due to change as the wind was already making the move to the north, we suspect that the change pretty well shut the fish down, or at least that was our excuse.  Bringing the remnants of a once full bottle of 4 Roses Single Barrel Bourbon and some ice, we toasted the new year and the promise that Pete would spend some time on the river with me and try to figure out the walleyes.  Pete runs River Run Guide Service out of Monticello, MN and does pretty well from Clearwater to Monticello.  Hopefully I can hold him to it as the walleyes are there, I just need to figure out the best way to catch them.

One of the things I have been delinquent on commenting about is the incredible fall in gas prices lately.  It wasn't too long ago we were paying $3.79/gallon but it's been on a free fall for the last 2 months.  This morning I drove by the local Mobil station on Hwy 169 in Champlin and took a picture in amazement of the $1.79/gallon price however coming home tonight it was $1.73/gallon.  It now costs less than $20 to drive back up to Red and even with pulling the house back it is relatively cheap at 10 miles per gallon.  The latest predictions say it will drop even further but we'll see as it's pretty cheap by current standards.   It sure would be nice to buy ahead and if one lived in St. Cloud you can actually buy prepaid gas at the First Fuel Bank and enjoy stable fuel prices based on what you prepaid for and how much you bought.  It's a pretty novel idea and I suspect it will get a lot of attention at these prices.  Either way oil prices will really have to rise to get back to where it was this spring, and eventually it will!  Certainly a lot of people will definitely have a lot more disposable income to spend in the months ahead.

Thursday is our day to head to the annual St. Paul Sportshow, the first of the year.  Keith Holtan has his booth there and am looking forward to seeing him as tradition will have us catching up on the latest and greatest.  The week will finish off with a trip to Lambeau Field were a good friend and contact for our business has graced me with 2 tickets to the Packer/Dallas Cowboy game in Green Bay on Sunday.  It's going to be cold but is destined to be memorable, especially when the Packers win! It won't be as cold as the original Ice Bowl where Dallas came to Green Bay for a playoff game in 1967 and the temperature was -15F at game time.  Often called the greatest NFL game ever played, I hope the outcome will be the same as I have some well placed bets with my two friends from Dallas, Joe Stanfield and Matt Davis.  Either way I should have something to report next week.

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