Spring teases leading up to fishing seasonPublished 5:31pm Sunday, March 11, 2012
There is a lot to be said for mild weather and it’s all good. We have really dodged a bullet this winter when it comes to snowfall. The nice weather this past week has really revved up my motor in anticipation of fishing open water once again. The thought of early season “slab” crappies almost gives me goose bumps, so the next step will be deciding what lake do I try first.
For many years, I would spend the spring anticipating the opening of the fishing season and planning which lake I wanted to fish first. A friend once said that vacation is as much about anticipation as it is participation. I can relate to that when thinking back to the years planning a family vacation to the north woods. The excitement would always escalate the closer you’d get to that magic day, but the time spent cleaning reels and inventorying tackle boxes was also quality time.
Whenever we vacationed at Spider Lake, it was a fun time. When the kids were younger the pickup camper seemed to have plenty of room, but as the kids grew older it appeared to be shrinking.
The Friday night before vacation was always a hectic time and on one particular night while I was putting the camper on the pickup the jack broke and I couldn’t crank it up. It was pretty humid that night so it didn’t take too much to irritate me and my boys must have sensed this and did their part to fuel the fire. I finally got my hydraulic jack in a position to lift it up enough to take the tension off.
They were good to help their mother in loading the camper but whenever I’d get frustrated bringing out the best in me was what they were really good at. There are times when we get together that the boys seem to take pleasure in bringing up some of those special moments that had old dad in such a frenzy. We can laugh about it now but at the time I was pretty much humor-impaired.
Looking back at those times spent camping at Spider is a great way to relive some very fond memories. The days spent on the lake were always capped off by nights sitting around the campfire roasting hot dogs and making smores. These are the memories that I will always have and will definitely revisit from time to time. Teaching your kids an appreciation of the outdoors is a great way to leave your mark and make sure that they will pass it on to future generations.
Each year, as I sat in the house on a wintery night planning our next vacation, I would have visions of that lunker walleye or a monster musky taking the lure and I could almost hear the drag whining as it took line. Ahh … I couldn’t wait to be there, but it would be upon us before you know it and I just knew that big one was out there waiting for me. Now that I think about it, that was really the thinking of the 10-year-old kid that still resides in this adult body. I guess that feeling is like the feeling I get when coaching a hockey game, if I didn’t get butterflies before a game it would be time to hang it up. I still get that same feeling of excitement whenever I anticipate an upcoming fishing adventure so I guess you could say that I’m still good to go.
Although my priorities have changed a little I really enjoy watching my kids and grandkids catch fish and do what I can to make that happen. When my boys were younger I would always wish that they could catch fish, secretly hoping that one wouldn’t outdo the other. The thought process was that if they had a good day of fishing it would in turn keep them excited about the sport.
Over the years they have caught their share and both of them still do love the sport. When my grandsons came along, I wanted to share the experience with them and teach them as much as I could. I wanted to make sure that they had the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest. They have actually expanded on that experience to include hunting which all four of them like to do. They hunt mostly waterfowl but when we are at the cabin Trevor and his dad also like to do some grouse hunting.
Fishing is what I am mostly all about and in the summer when fishing with those boys I always hope that they can catch that “lunker.” The funny part about all of this is that I still get that little-kid feeling of excitement whenever I wet a line.
The March meeting of Crossroads Chapter 54 Muskies, Inc., will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Eagles Club in Owatonna. Our speaker will be Jim Kroupa from Twin Cities Chapter 1. Jim will speak on activities their chapter is involved in. Tournments, fund raising, etc.
A coming event is the Minnesota Musky Expo, held April 13-15, at Concordia University’s Gangelhoff Center., 235 Hamline Ave. St. Paul. There will be great seminars and huge bait displays, among other things.
Our meetings are held on second Wednesday of every month. They include informative speakers, updates, raffle, door prizes and musky talk and tips to help catch them. Check our website www.michapter54.com.
Please remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers because 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.