Fishing with a dog can be funPublished 6:53pm Saturday, April 7, 2012
Whenever I go for my early morning walk I have time to think about fishing, the outdoors, fishing, up north, fishing, etc. I’m not saying that fishing is all that I think about, but it is pretty far ahead of the others.voices
Daydreaming is a good way to pass the time while walking. Whenever I am on my early morning walk by the channel I feel like I can connect with nature when I see all of the waterfowl, rabbits, squirrels and an occasional eagle. The other morning when I was walking there was a lone turkey vulture circling overhead. Now I don’t mean just circling but it seemed like it was only circling over me which didn’t give me the urge to run out and buy a lottery ticket.
Those morning walks can sometimes get me thinking about being up north and remembering some of the good fishing experiences that I have had. I still reflect on those times spent fishing in the early morning on Spider Lake.
There is something peaceful about being on the lake early in the morning and having it to yourself for an hour or so. I have always had a special spot that I liked to fish at that time of day, especially early on in the season when it always seemed to produce.
I would use a little different technique that I had found to be pretty effective. I would back troll along the weed line in our 14-foot fishing boat with my small electric trolling motor using a Shad Rap, which I fished in a jigging motion. I always seemed to catch fish using this method — smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike and walleye were pretty abundant in that small time frame early in the morning. There is nothing more satisfying than a little early morning alone-time on a lake trying to solve the never ending mystery of fish catching.
I have also reminded myself of some of the strange or funny experiences that I have had, so if you happen to see me out walking with a smile on my face or even laughing to myself, I’m okay but I have probably just thought of one of those instances.
One of my most memorable experiences was when I had taken my son Brad’s yellow lab named Brook up to Spider Lake with me. I had arrived at the lake two days before the rest of the family was due to arrive so I had time to do some fishing once I had settled in at the cabin.
After I had Brook neatly tucked away in her portable kennel it was time to head out and do some serious fishing. After a couple of hours on the lake I was on my way back to the dock when I heard it; somebody’s dog was barking and whining continuously. As I got closer to the dock I realized that it was Brook. After being told by the owners of the resort that my neighbor in the next cabin had complained I knew that I had no choice but to take her along in the boat if I wanted to fish.
I felt like I had a good plan in place because Brook sure loved riding in the front of the boat with her nose to the wind. Unfortunately she also liked to fetch and the first time that I cast my lure to this “surefire honey hole” she was out of the boat and into the water and heading right towards my lure. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of hearing a running, thumping sound and looking up just in time to have a large dog jump over your left shoulder and into the lake. I reeled my line in as fast as I possibly could hoping that she wouldn’t tangle in the line and end up with a set or two of treble hooks in her mouth.
I then devised a not-very-fool-proof plan of tying her leash to the boat seat. I wrapped her leash around the pedestal of the seat to shorten it but unfortunately on my next cast I found out that it was just long enough for her to go over the edge of the boat and almost hang herself. Now I don’t know if any of you have ever tried to hoist a fully grown lab out of the water and into a boat but it isn’t that easy, especially when the dog is flailing its legs, gasping for breath and in general just isn’t cooperating all that much.
Yes, Brook loved to play and she would bring anything that would fit into her mouth for you to throw so she could fetch it. One time, while up north, she dragged a large tree branch over to me looking for a game of fetch. It was too big to throw but she kept looking at me and then at it while making that little whine that was her way of begging you to play. These are some of those memories that I cherish and although Brook was maybe not that great of a fishing partner she was a special dog and gave true meaning to the saying that dogs are a man’s best friend.
Until next time, enjoy the outdoors and start making those outdoors memories that will last a lifetime.
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.
The April meeting of Crossroads Chapter 54 of Muskies Inc. will at 7 p.m. April 11 at the Eagles Club in Owatonna. Our speaker will be Jake Bartz. Bartz is a representative for Hummingbird Electronics. He will go over new features of the Hummingbird products and compare the different fish locators. Another coming event is the annual Minnesota Musky Expo held April 13-15 at Concordia University’s Gangelhoff Center, 235 Hamline Ave. St. Paul. Its features include a large display of lures and equipment, plus seminars in Minnesota.
Our meetings are held second Wednesday of every month. They include informative speakers, updates, raffle and door prizes. There’s also musky talk and tips to help catch them. Check our website at www.michapter54.com. You need not be a member to attend. Anyone interested in musky fishing, always welcome. Bring a friend and help improve musky fishing in southern Minnesota.
Dick Herfindahl’s column appears each Sunday in the Tribune.