Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lot's Going On!

Boris With a Beautiful Walleye
With the warmer than usual weather and the desire to try and catch some respectable crappies, I decided to head up north on Saturday and fish with my friend Jack and Ben.  Although they haven't had much luck finding the crappies on their lake, he stated that the plan was to move his ice shack closer to the island to see if we could locate a few there as all he has been getting are northern pike.  I had a few chores to do before I could meet those guys, first was to stop at Bill's to get bait and the second was to deliver a bottle of TX Whiskey to my friend Dewey.  Last week I spent some time on Mille Lacs with Dewey and the conversation of whiskey came up.  I challenged his normal perception of what quality whiskey really is and after a few one upmanship I committed to sharing one of my previous weeks winnings with him.   He was working on his bridge a couple miles out on the lake when I stopped by and handed him the bottle.  Totally surprised he offered to pay but as I promised, I would give him it with the statement, I don't just talk the talk but walk the walk!  Dewey was pretty impressed as he once drove to Tennessee to pick up a special bottle of Jack Daniels at the distillery.  I hope he enjoys it as I told him, if he mixes it with anything other than ice, I'm going to be pissed!  Leaving the lake for Jack's place, it would take 20 minutes to meet him out in front of his cabin on Platte Lake.  The first thing I noticed was Jack's brother-in-law, Boris Swanson's tracked ATV and what a machine.  Each wheel is replaced with a track that had studs embedded and that thing would go anywhere.  Apparently Boris was parked on the lake across the road, Long Lake, and had his wheel house set up for the evening. Thinking I might have a better chance at crappies there, Jack agreed and decided to meet us over there.  He was set up in 23 feet of water on an inside turn.  After checking out his house (I call it the walkin cooler on wheels!) I started the auger and drilled a number of holes from 21 - 25 feet, cleaned them out and started fishing. Nothing was showing up at the 21 foot depth, nothing at 22 feet, however the next hole had some significant marks at the 18 foot level in 23 feet of water.  Sometime there is algae suspended, sometimes it's minnows, sometimes it's fish so I lowered my tungsten jig with a waxie and although convinced they were fish, they weren't very aggressive at all.  Hole hopping a few more I decided to
5 Nice Crappies
come back to where I marked the fish, set  up my one man house with a heater as it was getting colder out and I wanted to be more comfortable.  After setting up and the marks still there, the next tool to come out was my AquaView hand held underwater video camera/recorder to see exactly what kind of fish were suspended.  Often times on these lakes it's nothing but a school of 3 - 4 inch perch however the minute the camera obtained the same depth as the marks it was confirmed, they were crappies, and a lot of them.  They were very finicky and would just come up and simply inhale the bait, often exhaling it in a split second.  With the camera you could see the action and pretty soon I was hauling fish up.  As stated the camera has a record button and while the bite was getting better I started recording the action.  Here is the link to about 14 minutes of ice fishing action on Youtube: Long Lake Crappies  During this video I did catch 6 fish which occur at 2:59, 3:26, 4:50, 5:45, 10:33, and 13:37 as you can see some of them quickly disappear from the camera.  Some of the fish look to be of decent size yet I only kept 5 of them ranging from 9 to 10.5 inches long out of about 16 or so that I caught.  There were a few nicer ones that came off at the top of the hole but with steady action it was better than sitting there wondering why I was sitting on the ice.  It's nothing like the action I used to have a Pelican Lake yet the winter is only half over and plenty of time to try a few other lakes in the area.  Just before Jack, Ben, and I left, one of Boris's rattle reels went off, he set the hook on this beautiful 25 inch walleye.  He was pretty excited however I did have to coach him somewhat on the finer points of taking fish pictures like cleaning off the snow, getting your hand in the right position yet I could not get him to take off that goofy Kosack hat, oh well!

Birthday Gifts Galore!
So today is my birthday, the big 6 - 0, sixty.  I'm never one to get too spaced out about birthdays and growing older however this one has got me thinking a lot more than the previous milestone celebrations at 30, 40, and 50.  I know, they say that 60 is the new 50.....well I understand but the truth is that I'm still 60!  It's not a negative but considering that the males on my dad's side lasted till about 82, it means 75% of my life is over.  If one discounts the first 10 years of your life as pretty much under the care of someone, you could discount the last 10 years of having the potential of being the same.  The way I look at it there's about 10 - 15 good years left, assuming my health holds out, the time is ticking away.  Now it's always ticked away but you know, it's never seemed so fast.  Oh well, all that means is it's extremely important to take care of those things that you want to do, the people you want to do them with, and make sure you have fun doing it.  I guess this year Red Lake was a good example as we went there 4 times since Thanksgiving and had a blast doing it.  There is still Lake of the Woods to visit, maybe Leech Lake and Mille Lacs before the ice goes out.  Maybe a trip in March to Charleston, SC to fish.  Minnesota Fishing Opener in May, maybe Lac Seul in June, Lake Oahe in July, back to Lac Seul in September...uffda, the year is filling up fast. I guess you are the only one that can keep yourself young and it's becoming an everyday job!  So Sunday night was the Annual Superbowl party at our neighbor Tim Kuntz's place, it's tradition.  Most of the neighbors stop by and watch it in the heated garage and with a keg of beer and food to pass, everyone has a great time. Well this year one of the guys I work with, Welly, his wife and daughter stopped in.  That was great to see him, I do remember telling him to come up if he wanted, but that's a long way from Bloomington.  Next to show up was Jason and his boy.  Interesting as I figured he was in the neighborhood coming home from Isanti and decided to stop by, that was nice.  A few minutes later my good friend Mark Taylor and his family stopped by.........still didn't get it until my wife had Tim's wife Connie bring out the special birthday cake............DUH, a surprise birthday party at halftime.  It was pretty cool as I got a number of nice gifts with a few gag gifts thrown in.  Some of the more interesting items was a Granicrete Cocktail table that Tim made that has the Green Bay Packer logo on it, absolutely fabulous!  Next was a a laser cut G with my neighborhood nickname, Super Dave cut into it.  I definitely will need to paint that with the appropriate colors.  Next my wife gave me a mug with bunch of stuff in it to round out the display and a beautiful cake with a picture of me in my original birthday suit along with one of my heros, Aaron Rodgers.  Of course everyone in the neighborhood knows I am a diehard Packer fan so it certainly became the theme of the night, especially since the Packer's should have been in the SuperBowl.  As a side note I was glad to see Seattle lose because of stupid coaching, there is justice in the world!  Among other things I got a nice Cabela's gift certificate, some more Packer stuff, a few bottles of nice wine, and the most important, a lot of love from my neighbors, friends, and everyone attending, what more does a guy need?  Everything was done before Katy Perry started the show, it was a great night for sure.  Among the guests were Welly Chou, an engineer from my work.  Welly is quite savoy with the electronics and took this video of the whole deal so I put it on Youtube as well.  If your interested here is the link:My 60th Birthday Party at Tim's.

I might find a chance to see if I can nail a few more crappies this weekend before flying to California on Monday morning for 4 days of non-stop work.  I usually stay over on Thursday night but this time I decided to take the redeye back rather than spend $140 for a hotel room only to get up at 4:00AM to catch the first flight.  Heck, I can sleep at work on Friday.


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Duane said...

If you've only got 10 - 15 good years left, you better quit procrastinating on starting to hunt turkeys. Yeah, and I know all about that nice shotgun you've never shot.

Dave Anderson said...


that's right, a brand new Browning BPS 12 ga 3" camo, still in the box ready to go!