Column: Fishing guess I’ll never clean up my act

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dick Herfindahl, Outdoors Writer

After reading a column that Joe Fellegy had in a recent issue of Outdoor News I took time to reflect on some of the things he spoke about. It mainly concerned fishermen on some of the TV shows and how they always come across sanitized and flawless in the way they dress and how their boats are always spotless.

I can’t remember fishing without my boat being cluttered by the end of the day or without something being spilled or an occasional minnow or worm being crunched on the floor or elsewhere. To me that’s just another part of fishing.

There’s plenty of time to clean the boat when it’s sitting in the driveway.

When I look back to some of our vacations or as a matter-of-fact to any time I have gone fishing I can never remember coming off the lake looking like a Roland Martin or a Jimmy Houston at the end of the day. Babe Winkelman always seems to come off as a more down to earth guy with his trademark flannel shirt and down-to-earth approach to fishing. I’ll bet he even gets his hands dirty.

There was always one way I could tell if I was having a good fishing trip. If you washed your hands numerous times and still had the scent of fish on them &045; it was a good thing.

This is the smell that you are supposed to notice if you are having any kind of luck as a fisherman &045; almost like a fisherman’s cologne.

Thinking back to some of those times I always seemed to end up with blood, nitecrawler dirt and fish slime on my hands, pants and cap. Blue jeans and my favorite flannel shirt were the uniform of the day. If you’ve ever fished with kids in the boat you can relate to tackle boxes being left open when a netted fish is brought into the boat or pop spills and wrappers that must be picked up before you can go faster than trolling speed.

Fishing with two kids and a wife in the small boat that we started out with was always a treat. I was the skipper of the vessel and with that position came added responsibility.

Guide duties not withstanding I also had to bait the hooks, take fish off, run the motor and above all try not to get anyone’s line tangled in the motor while trolling. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything because we all learned a lot about fishing and I also learned a something about anger management.

I can feel safe in saying that fishing with my boys was always a joy. I really mean that even though from time-to-time my patience was sometimes tested to the max.

There was the spontaneous casting by my youngest (Brad) whose green spotted Daredeville always seemed to have a way of whistling past my ear more than once and even on occasion latching onto my cap and launching it into the lake which brought on spontaneous laughter from the rest of the crew.

I really feel that my boys took satisfaction in trying to see how many buttons they could push before I would reach the boiling point.

The best part of it all was that we had plenty of laughs (usually at my expense) and we caught fish.

It took spending a lot of time on the water and persistence but it was always worth it.

When we camped it was almost always in our pickup camper and most of our vacations were spent at Spider Lake. When the boys were small we would also rent a cabin at Big Sand Lake in the Squaw Lake area. Big Sand was as close as you could get to a walleye factory and we always seemed to catch our share of fish. There were also plenty of northerns and Jumbo perch.

When we camped at Spider Brian, my oldest, always wanted to get up early and go fishing with me. I would always try to be on the lake at the crack of dawn. There seemed to be something special about being the first boat on the lake in the morning. If I heard another boat taking off before me it almost seemed like I was losing out on something.

Brian and I would fish our favorite haunts and usually by 8:00 we’d be heading in for breakfast. Brian would usually last until about Wednesday and then the thought of sleeping in became pretty appealing. These times spent together with the family were like the commercial says &8220;priceless.&8221;

With all the memories I have of fishing with my boys I now have a chance to make more memories with the grandkids.

The following is a list of the upcoming fishing events and when the seasons open:

04/15/06 &045; Stream trout fishing – opener

05/13/06 – 05/14/06 &045; Take-a-Mom fishing weekend

05/13/06 – 10/31/06 &045; Lake trout fishing – statewide summer season

05/13/06 &045; Walleye, sauger, northern pike fishing – statewide opener

05/27/06 &045; Bass fishing – opener

06/03/06 &045; Muskie fishing – opener

09/15/06 &045;&160;Stream trout fishing – southeast streams open to catch and release

12/01/06 &045;&160;Lake trout fishing – winter season opener (Lake Superior only)

12/31/06 &045; Lake trout fishing – winter season opener (within BWCAW)

Until next time play safe, enjoy the outdoors and let’s go fishin’.

Remember to keep the troops that are serving our country in your thoughts and prayers.