Archived Story

Open water still producing good fish on Fountain Lake

Published 7:13pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

This is the time of year that I usually consider the “down time” for fishing. There is ice on the lakes, but it is too thin to walk on, so fishing is usually in limbo. This year – not a problem! The lakes and streams that still have any water in them are open.

I spoke with one local sportsman the other day, and he told me that the crappies were still biting on Fountain Lake. He also told me that fishing was the best in the evening. This time of year the evening seems to come in late afternoon now that we’ve switched from Daylight Savings Time. This fisherman is “old school” because the old hook, line and sinker is all that he needs — sometimes simpler is just better. Tip that hook with a crappie minnow and get ready to fill the bucket. Now that I mention it; a meal of crappies fresh out of the lake would be mighty tasty. Some area bass fishermen have also been hitting the lake on these nice days.

The amount of moisture that we are lacking in our area’s lakes, ponds and streams is a little concerning to a lot of local sportsmen. You could probably play a baseball game in Upper Twin Lake these days. A lot of folks, me included, feel that a freeze-out is eminent if we have any kind of a winter at all.

Public TV has been showing a documentary on the dust bowl that happened in the 1930s in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. That is scary because no matter what modern day technology comes up with nature still has the last say in our day-to-day lives. I am sure that there are scientists out there that are getting paid the big bucks to find a way to control that, too.

I spoke with a person the other day who had gone pheasant hunting in South Dakota. He said that he has hunted the same area for the last 10 years and now it is changing. The farmer who owned much of the CRP land that they hunted is gone, and the new owners are plowing it all up and even taking out the windrows — all for the mighty dollar. I know the farmer is in it to make a living, but most of the ones I know are also aware of the effect that preserving habitat has on the environment. We need to have CRP and wildlife management land to sustain our areas wildlife.

There is not a lot of noise being made about local pheasant hunting this season but I do know that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did predict low numbers this season. My grandson Trevor is still in hunting mode, but with him it is mostly waterfowl and he has had some pretty good luck this season. He hunts a lot, and I guess the same thing I always say about fishing holds true to hunting – you need to put in the time to have success.

Speaking of fishing I still have my old 14-foot fishing boat anchored in the backyard. I will have to start looking for a bigger motor for it. The old 10-horsepower Evinrude sort of pushes it through the water like a barge. Maybe a 15- or 25-horse will do the trick. Quite a few years ago when the boys were younger (me too), the whole family would fish out of that boat and when we went from one end of Spider Lake to the other you almost felt like you needed to pack a lunch.

There are a lot of good memories I have from those days that we fished and camped without a lot of frills. Those were times that you didn’t need a camera; just have someone bring up an instance that happened and you’d be taking a trip down memory lane. From time-to-time one of the boys will start a story with, do you remember when? Those were some good times that you can’t relive, but you can surely revisit.

Until next time, take a little time to enjoy the outdoors experience and take advantage of the open water.

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 in the Tribune each Sunday.