Thursday, April 6, 2017

Watching the Ice Melt

View from the Deck
It's time to get caught up with everything that has been waiting for the warmer weather to show itself. Actually it's been pretty nice here in Minnesota, the frost is already out and because of the lack of snow we really don't have any high water to deal with.  Most of the lakes up to Mille Lacs have experienced ice out and the Mille Lacs Webcam shows that Mille Lacs isn't that far behind.  It's been a week since I've been back from Naples and I have been enjoying eating the grouper that I brought home.  I must have had 20 pounds of fish fillets in my cooler, it was good that I turned down the refrigerator in my hotel room as the bags of fish were partially frozen when I packed them, the survived the trip quite well and are delicious!  Although last weeks post dealt with the fishing aspect of my trip, one of the things that was interesting is the experiences with my friends down in Tampa/Naples.  First was our accommodations while staying in Naples, we had the pleasure of being with my friend Glen and Tim in his Naples beach house.  A beautiful property right to the beach, it was wonderful to get up in the morning and have coffee on the deck and look out on the Gulf of Mexico, while listening to the gentle waves lapping up on the beach.  Tim is one of the most generous person's you'll ever meet and both Matt Davis (My friend from Dallas) and I certainly appreciated the hospitality shown to us. Matt and  had the pleasure to sleep in what is deferred to as "The Honeymoon Suite".  Although it had a couple of twin beds, it was right on the ground floor and the air conditioner was loud enough to drowned out any snoring that either him nor I would hear.  From Tim's house one could walk right on the sand beach where it was covered with shells and as you see in the picture, guys would actually
Joe's 58 foot boat.
surf fish off the property.  I never saw them catch anything however they must get something or what would be the point?  The next surprise was when we arrived back in Tampa to attend our APEC convention I finally ran into my dear friend Joe Stanfield from Dallas.  We attempted to get him to come fishing with us however he had lots of things to do and when we got into town it was obvious!  The Tampa Convention Center is located right on the waterfront and they had some docks where you could rent a spot to park your boat.  Well Joe decided to drive his boat up directly to those docks and use it for his accommodations during the show.  APEC is an interesting conference as it attracts some of the best and brightest electrical engineers and our company exhibits at that show, we have for at least 20 years.  Actually I had the pleasure of meeting Joe at the Cincinnati Coil Winding Show at least 20 years ago and we have been friends ever since.  Joe arranged our Cameron, Louisiana fishing trip a few years back and we never plan anything without including him in on the event.  When I first saw Joe he had let his hair grow out, I had to make a snide comment but it was sure good to see him again.  After the show was finished on Monday night he invited myself and my engineers onto his boat for an evening cocktail which was awesome.  The boat is a 58 foot yacht and quite the rig and is named appropriately "Daddy's Money"  Because it was on my way to the convention center every morning from the hotel, I would stop in and have coffee.  On Wednesday we took a little cruise up the river in his 16 foot dingy he had as his smaller boat to get around if needed. It is always the highlight of my trip to see Joe and this year was no exception.

Mike's nice norther at Lake Abram, Sioux Lookout Ontario
Well, there was still fishing going on as another good friend of mine, Mike Grant, went up to Canada for a later season Ice Fishing trip with some of his friends.  I knew he was going a few weeks ago so I volunteered the use of my Vexilar, a few nice and sturdy ice rods, and my bait collection.  His destination was Lake Abram, just out of Sioux Lookout and not to far from where I go fishing on Lac Seul.  The lake is famous for it's lake trout and nice northern pike and Mike promised me some pictures if he was lucky enough to catch something. So here is Mike with a very nice northern, at  least in the 15 pound class.  He also caught a nice lake trout and a whitefish and claims that although it wasn't a good day, it really helped to have my Vexilar showing him where the fish were and when to expect that thump.  I am really glad he got out and someday maybe he will let me horn in on his trip!  I can tell you that it certainly has the juices flowing for the opener.  Speaking of fishing opener, Team Walleye has been working hard to get ready as we finished ordering our hats for this year.  We are only 6 weeks away and the weekend after that I will be heading to the Ontario fishing opener with my friends.  There are a lot of things that need to get done, the boat needs to be brought up to Frankies for some work on the kicker motor as it is the worst starting outboard motor I've ever had.  I am adding a remote control steering to it as it can be damn near impossible to steer otherwise.  I wanted to get a bimini top for the boat however it looks like the place is tied up till June of this year, uffda!   The yard needs work, the sprinkler system needs tuning up, the garden has to be tilled up, trees dug out and replanted..........the list goes on and on!  Oh well.

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