Thursday, July 26, 2018

Busy Weekend!

Andy with the first bass
The first item on the agenda for last week was to take my wife's Uncle Andy and Cousin Jason fishing on Saturday morning.  It would have been nice to run up to Mille Lacs and try the deep basin bite however there was not enough time as Andy needed to get back to Eau Claire later in the afternoon so we decided to fish Lake Minnetonka, about a 15 minute ride from Jason's house.  Lake Minnetonka in the 10th largest lake in Minnesota and is well known for it largemouth bass, pike, and panfish.  We decided to try for bass this trip and after landing in Maxwell Bay, we headed to the upper end of North Arm.  It's been over 10 years since I have fished Minnetonka and with a recent cold front passing through the wind was blowing pretty good out of the northwest, the conditions were difficult.  Our strategy was to fish the docks where the water depth at the end of them was fairly deep, in the 5 - 7 foot range.  While Andy used his confidence bait, a scum frog, Jason tried a spoon with a plastic thing threaded on the hook, I was bound and determined to catch a bass using the wacky worm style that was so effective in Texas back in April.  We started fishing the docks when Andy landed his bait on one of the docks.  Because his was weedless, a slight tug and it dropped right off the dock and into the water.  Immediately a bass hit the lure and the fight was on.  Andy was using a spinning rig so on light tackle, he had a good battle.  Netting the fish we unhooked it and took this picture, the first fish of the day.  It happened pretty quick and it hopefully was an omen of things to come.  My rig was a blueish with glitter sinking type plastic worm that has an O ring slid in the center of it and a weedless hook hooked between the worm and the o ring.  I am not sure why this has a lot of appeal but it sure worked good on Bass at Joe Stanfield's pond (OK Tanks).  Casting as close to the edge of the docks as possible, the worm naturally sinks and this time
3 guys out for a cruise
something big hit it.  I reared back and set the hook, only to feel a nice tug on the line then it went limp.  After reeling it in, it was soon discovered that at the end of my line was simply the bare hook with the O ring attached.  Apparently what ever hit it was large enough to pull that worm clear through the O ring leaving me with nothing left but hardware.  It was surprising as I figured anything hitting that hard would automatically be hooked, I guess I may need to reevaluate the time between the strike and when I should set the hook.  That was about it for the day, Jason caught a little bass, not even big enough to bother taking a picture.  We tried many different areas with the same results, not very good.  Lake Minnetonka consists of many lakes tied together by channels, the places to fish and boat are endless.  All the channels are no wake areas, which makes sense as they are only about 25 feet wide.  We were entering the channel in front of a popular hangout, Lord Fletchers, idling through when we came upon this boat anchored at the mouth and taking pictures of the boats that came by, including ours.  The sign said, Tonka Paparazzi, go to to see your pictures.  Well, I did just that to see what it was all about and there it was under July 21, a nice picture of us 3 heading back.  I figured it had to cost something but all they asked is you visit their sponsors.  Anyway I downloaded the picture and now we are in internet immortality!

Monday was my EAA Oshkosh Air Show adventure and adventure it was!  The plan was to leave Crystal Airport at 7:00 AM with Bruce Wiley's plane, a Cessna 182 RG, his friend Jim Shull, a very competent pilot himself, and me sitting in the back seat taking it all in!  Both of these guys are IFR rated (Instrument Flight Rules) and had filed a flight path to Oshkosh, about and hour and twenty minutes away.  Taking off we headed north a bit before we turned to the east with a little southerly angle, we passed just south of Eau Claire, west of Niellsville, South of Wisconsin Rapids and over my cousin Don's place before we cancelled our IFR routing and went into the required VFR ( Visual Flight Rules), dropping down to 1800 feet altitude, and slowing to 90 mph. Some where around Ripon Wisconsin the only way I can describe it was when the pandemonium began.  Planes coming in from all directions, above you, from the left, from the right, coming up behind you.  All of the air traffic is controlled by ground crews 6 - 10 miles from the Oshkosh airport.  One is not allowed to talk back to the air controllers, they just simply acknowledge your position, ask to rock your wings so they know you understand their instructions then head into the airport.  The key is getting in line, and with 30 or so planes in your immediate area it's not that simple.  We ended up doing circle patterns around Green Lake and Rush Lake before we could find a slot to slip into the line heading to the airport.  There were guys that cut in front of you, came in from behind and at the last minute pulled up.  Some of those twin engine planes have a hard time keeping their speed around 90 mph and you were told to keep one mile of separation between planes.  Jim had a flight tracker that would display all the plane in the air around you and and I can say is Uffda!  Finally finding a slot we got our instructions...182 rock your wings!, thank you proceed in.  We landed then spent another 45 minutes looking for a parking spot.  After about 30 minutes of taxiing, a guy told us all General Aviation Parking is filled.
Standing next to a C47
  Asking about Parking in the camping area, yes, that is $120/night.  After spending the last 3 hours in the plane we had little option but to go that route.  I think the guy parking us felt our pain and didn't push the fee.  Nobody ever collected and by 6:30 we were headed for the runway, ready to fly home.  Although the only thing I pilot is my boat, it was a lot of fun walking around, looking at the planes and talking to the vendors, sort of like going to the State Fair.  There were 2 goals I wanted to acomplish, first is to have answered my question, why do turbo props have their propellers facing forward at stop.  The second was to actually see a C47, the plane my dad flew in Panama.  Not dissappointed, those 2 goals were met, the prop question had to do with the fact that if a turboprop engine fails, one wants the props to present no load to the engine, especially important in a dual engine plane.  Also when starting the turbo engine, having the propeller fully "Feathered" reduces the load on the starter as it takes more juice to start than a standard piston engine.  The second is represented by the picture above, I got to see a C47 up close and envision what my dad probably went through as he flew around in South America.  Obvious we did get home safely, a little tired, and my feet are still somewhat sore!  I am not sure what is on tap for this weekend but it would be a good time to get my jon boat out and try fishing the river for some catfish and smallmouth bass before heading back to Lac Seul next Friday.

1 comment:

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Oshkosh sounds like the Kenai River in July, except for air traffic control and rules!