It’s never too late for fall fishingPublished 12:43pm Saturday, October 22, 2011
As we inch our way farther into the fall season the weather has now turned more seasonal, and the leaves are quickly disappearing from the trees.
One good thing that has happened is the recent rainfall that we received lowered the fire danger and allowed the burning ban to be lifted.
From some reports that I’ve heard from area fishermen, the run of “jumbo” perch on Geneva Lake is not over and there are also some fairly nice sized northern pike being caught.
This is an encouraging sign and also should be a good indicator of what we have to look forward to on Pickerel Lake in a couple more years. It’s always good to see a lake reclamation project be successful.
Any time that I see a lake with a tree-filled shoreline I get that old feeling that I used to get as a youth.
It is hard to describe, but when I am privileged enough to take in such a sight I immediately think fishing and wonder what species I’d find lurking just below the surface.
I will be spending the rest of the week in the north woods once again, but as all good things do; I’m afraid the weather will have changed from the last time I was there.
I am hoping to get in a little last of the season open water fishing on one of the many lakes in the area. I can’t really remember the last time I spent any time on a lake fishing late in the year when the temperature was hovering around the freezing mark.
As I grow older I seem to be getting a little more selective on when I spend time in a boat in cold weather.
There have been quite a few openers where the weather has been less than ideal but I’ve managed to survive those with only faint memories of the cold. I will, however, never forget the many times I’ve tried to bait a hook only to look at my hands and wonder why they weren’t listening to my brain tell them what to do.
If you’ve ever been in that situation you might relate to what it feels like. I sometimes think it feels like I stuffed two frozen turkey legs into my gloves and tried to bait my hook with them.
I will try to fish at least one lake and possibly two depending what the weather does. I’m always up for heading to Spider Lake and trying to entice a musky to hit my favorite bucktail.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to pay the price that they charge for the latest “killer baits” that are on the market to entice the “toothed one” to bite.
My old standbys that seemed to work in the past will have to do for now. I am going to try fishing with a large spoon this time, and I don’t think that the fish really know whether or not a lure is fashionable. I did have some pretty good luck with nice sized pike in late summer using a big spoon so I will once again give that a try if I get the chance.
When I first started fishing Spider back in the 1970s there were a couple of different fellows that I met who always fished late fall for musky.
The one guy in particular always fascinated me by his technique. He would rent a 14-ft. boat from the resort and put a lawn chair in the back where he’d sit and run the motor. He spent hours trolling the shoreline and by shoreline I mean right next to shore. His dad, whom I met a couple of years later, said he trolled so close to shore that he could almost reach out and touch the rocks. This particular guy always fished a big Red-Eyed Wiggler and I witnessed first hand, more than one time, the luck he had with that technique.
Musky fishing takes a lot of time and can sometimes be frustrating but when you tie into one it makes all that seem worth it. Fall is a great time for personal trophies, not only for musky but for other species as well.
I don’t remember when it was but it had to be in the 1980’s when I was watching Al Linder fish walleye on a northern Minnesota lake in November wearing a snowmobile suit and cutting through the thin layer of lake ice with his boat.
He was vertical jigging for them with five-inch suckers on a jig. He pulled in at least three fish in the nine pound plus range (I don’t think it was the same fish) and watching this made me want to brave the cold and give this a try. I have never actually tried November fishing in northern Minnesota but it sure looked good at the time.
This is what fishing shows are meant to do – get you pumped up for the next outdoors fishing adventure. It usually works on me, especially in about late February when open water has become something that I can only faintly remember.
We still have open water for now so the next time you’re out duck hunting take along the old rod and reel and you might be surprised at what happens.
Rare whooping cranes sighted in Rice and LeSueur counties
Whooping cranes, one of America’s most endangered birds, have recently been sighted in Rice and Le Sueur counties in south central Minnesota.
“These are exciting reports since so few whooping cranes exist in the wild,” according to Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, regional nongame wildlife specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “However, it is vital to give the birds the respect and distance they need.”
Gelvin-Innvaer said that the whooping crane is a critically imperiled North American species with fewer than 250 birds in a single wild population.
In 1940, there were only 16 whooping cranes left in the world. The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership started a new flock at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin and trained them to migrate along their normal route between Wisconsin and coastal Florida. The pair recently sighted could be part of that flock.
“When you’re lucky enough to spot a whooping crane, please do not approach it,” Gelvin-Innvaer said. The WCEP suggests that anyone viewing a whooping crane not approach within 600 feet, even in a vehicle. If not in a vehicle, stay concealed and do not speak loudly enough so that birds can hear you. “The whooping cranes’ natural fear of humans is an important survival mechanism. One of the greatest perils that whooping cranes face is desensitizing them to human presence,” Gelvin-Innvaer said. “Each exposure puts them at a greater risk from vehicle collisions, predation and illegal shooting.”
Hunters also are asked to be especially watchful this fall, so that they do not mistake a whooping crane for other migratory waterfowl.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers during the coming year. They are the reason we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today.
Dick Herfindahl’s column appears each Sunday in the Tribune.