Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Everyone's Fishing but Me!

Nice mess of perch
One nice thing about friends is you can always count on them sending me the latest and greatest pictures of their fishing adventures.  In the meantime I am stuck without a boat and scrambling to get my spring yard work done by fishing opener, which leaves little leisure time.  Because I worked all weekend I thought this would be a great time to share some of those pictures.  The first picture is a dandy mess of jumbo perch that my friend Kevin and his son caught a few days ago, somewhere on the Mississippi River.  I don't ever remember getting perch this big, or for that matter any perch at all.  Maybe it was the fact that all we fished for were the walleyes and these perch have been there all along. I don't really know but there are ones here that exceed 1.5 #'s which is pretty good.  I often associate good perch fishing with Devil's Lake, North Dakota, Mille Lac's Lake, Winnibigoshish, Late of the Woods here in Minnesota but never in the ol' Muddy Mississip.  I have promised my confidence as always as revealing a secret spot it's a good way to end a friendship!  Last year Ben did really well on Devil's Lake however with the early spring, there wasn't really a chance to get out there and take advantage of the early spring ice fishing so maybe next year.  The second picture is of my nephew John Larsen and his buddies in Ft. Myers, Florida.  Apparently away for the weekend 5 of them went out last weekend for a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  After spending a bunch of time catching their bait they headed out about 35 miles to some offshore ledges in 100 feet of water they started catching Red Grouper.  The limit is 2 each and apparently they caught their 10 fish plus a couple of sharks before heading to a wreck to dive.  Their Captain donned his diving gear and with a spear had brought up 5 more snapper and claims to have seen a several hundred pound jewfish, that
Nephew John (on the right) with a limit of Red Grouper
was probably exciting.  John is stationed in Colorado Springs with a special unit of the Army and is thinking he will be transferred to Savannah, Georgia at some point, an excellent excuse to go visit him. Lucky for me I have taken John on a number of fishing trips and it appears as though his interest has some staying power so hopefully he will take me sometime soon! To me there is nothing better than fresh cooked saltwater fish, something about the texture and flavor of the fish I have caught.  So far I've had fresh halibut, black sea bass, sheepshead, dorado (mahi mahi), sea trout, redfish, silver salmon, flounder, and yellowfin tuna that I have caught while on trips. I am not sure how the red grouper taste but I can only imagine that on the grill along with a few beers, they are equally as fantastic.

Yard work made easy
As I stated in the beginning, while others are out enjoying the fishing I am taking advantage of the early spring this year, something that hasn't happened since 2012.  At this time last year and the year before we still had snow on the ground and the everything was running way behind.  This year is completely different as the lilacs buds are really starting to swell and turn green as we've had an 80 degree day already.  Last year I used my friend Ricky Shermer's mower mounted dethatcher with his vacuum attachment and it worked so slick that it forced me to buy the same for my John Deere X724 lawn tractor.  Actually the vacuum bagger attachment was purchased last fall to expedite picking up my leaves and last week I put on the front dethatcher assembly.  It works pretty slick as the front tines loosen the dead grass and leaves and the vacuum pushes 14 bushels into the hopper, it's pretty efficient.  Sunday was my day to do the lawn as it had to dry somewhat from the rains of last Thursday as it can dig up the grass easier.  One of the problems to deal with is the dead grass is everywhere, on top of the mower deck, in the air intakes, your hair, you name it and it's there.  Well, I was almost finished with my 1 1/2 acres and moved to clean up on the other side of my pole shed driveway when I smelled something burning.  I looked down and the flames were coming out of both sides of the tractor above the deck.  Somehow the grass had caught fire and with the wind as strong as it was, it was like a blast furnace.  My first thought was to pull it down to the shed where I had water but panic soon ensued as the visual of the gas lines igniting put a more immediate urgency to putting it out.  Stopping the engine I jumped off and started an attempt to put the fire by pulling out the flaming grass (I had leather gloves on).  This just exposed more grass to the flames and the grass I did pull out now started a grass fire on the ground.  Back to the original plan, drive it to my water hose and put it out like a real fireman would do, I jumped on but the engine wouldn't start.  Actually it takes about 3 seconds for the controls to prepare the engine to start, 3 seconds I didn't have but it did manage to start.  About 100 feet to the garden hose the flames kept growing bigger as I sped down then for some reason stopped short.  Turning on the water the hose was caught in the reel and had to be untangled, with superhuman strength I managed to pull the hose to the tractor and dosed the fire......relief!  Checking everything out, it looked ok but then suddenly noticed there was still smoke coming from the end of the driveway where I had shut it down before, the grass fire was going strong.  I was able to drag the water and put it out as if it would have gotten in my field, all bets were off.  I am not sure what started the fire but it sure got me scrabbling.  After settling down my neighbor Todd came over to use the tractor for his lawn as it came with a stern warning, watch for smoke!  After he finished I drove over to my other neighbor Lory's and did his before the rain came. On the positive side the whole unit does do a nice job of cleaning up the yard.

We are 3 weeks from our Leech Lake opener and no word from Frankies yet.  As they say, patience is a virtue.  I did update all of my Lowrance electronics but not without problems there as well. Downloading the updates onto a 64 GB SD card the units did not recognize it as they have in the past. Come to find out that the max card size is 32 GB, go figure.  I also had problems after the updates with the units responding to my touch commands which was resolved by calibrating the screen. Things just don't seem to get easier!


David Grant said...

That would have been scary to put out the fire. Can't wait to see the new boat

Otto said...

Now I'm wishing I had been there to capture it on video! ;-)

Glad you're okay.

Looking forward to next week's blog to see if the new "Orange Monster" is a toy you bought, rented, or borrowed...

Dave Anderson said...

Actually Dave, I think you should make an effort to take your dad and I out in it to go fishing this year! You can drive us around so we can relax.
Nice to see you comment, BTW.

Shipping Jon said...

Holy cow's, them are some huge Perch!