Time for hard water fishing

Published 11:59 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

As I sit here writing this column there are snowflakes in the air and the weather outside is fairly mild, it’s just a nice and serene winter day. In looking back over this past year I have a lot to be thankful for. I know that the arrival of our first granddaughter, Emma Rose, is the highlight of this past year.

This year I also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time up north with the family. We had some good fishing this year and I am already looking forward to next year.

I am anxious to do a little ice fishing this year whenever my grandson Trevor and his dad get their fish house out on the lake. I had a chance to fish in it a little last winter and found out that it can be addicting. I suppose that I will have to invest in an ice-fishing rig of my own, although Trevor has several and is more than happy to share.

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I guess it is kind of like anything else, I pretty much introduced him to fishing at a very young age and I could tell he was “hooked” from the very beginning. Now the tables have turned and he has introduced grandpa to ice fishing and has gotten me “hooked” on the hard-water thing. There are a lot of houses on the channel by Frank Hall Park but I haven’t really heard how the fishing has been. I guess there’s only one way to find out and that is to try it first-hand.

I have always had the itch to go up to our cabin in the winter just to see how hard it would be to get back to it. I can imagine that it would be tricky but I have a feeling that it would be worth it when I did get to the cabin. We sit quite a ways off the “beaten path” so there is no plowed road leading to it. Now that the cabin is all insulated, that wood stove would keep it mighty toasty inside. I can only dream of sitting inside looking out over the frozen lake while the fire in the wood stove keeps things toasty inside our small cabin.

I will venture up there one winter day just to satisfy my curiosity and enjoy some quality time in the woods. My oldest son Brian and I have spoken quite often of how this would be a great trip and something that we would enjoy. I do think that having a pair of snowshoes would almost be a necessity for such an adventure.

About three years ago this coming March we went north to install the wood stove. This was quite a challenge and the weather wasn’t the best. It was about 8-degrees and snowing with about a 40-mile-an-hour wind coming directly out of the north. This didn’t make for ideal conditions for putting up a chimney but Brian got it done with my help (encouragement) from the ground. We worked on it all day and at about 4:30 that afternoon we were ready to fire it up. The cabin wasn’t insulated yet so even though the new stove gave off a lot of heat we were never able to totally rid ourselves of that chill we had gotten throughout the day.

It is kind of ironic how this little guy that used to follow his dad around with his own hammer asking “can I pound dad?” is now being followed around by an old guy who is just looking to be of some help.

When I’d be working on something in the house I’d give him a board and some nails and he’d pound for hours just happy to be using that hammer. At the time I was the carpenter and he was the gopher, now it seems that it’s the other way around.

Spring turkey hunting application deadline is Jan. 8

Hunters who want to get in the field early for the 2010 spring turkey hunt must apply by Friday, Jan. 8, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

Adult hunters may apply for one of nearly 57,000 permits to hunt a five- or seven-day season in one of 77 permit areas. Youth 17 and younger no longer need to apply for the lottery. They will be able to purchase a spring turkey permit for any permit area and any time period directly from a license agent. Applicants choose one of eight time periods in which to hunt.

A new rule effective in 2010 allows hunters not selected in the permit lottery to purchase a permit in any area for one of the hunt’s last two time periods.

Additional details are available online here

DNR arrests fishermen who exceeded limit

On another note: The DNR arrested some Wisconsin men with 40 walleye over the limit while fishing on Upper Red Lake.

The men had a very good excuse. They said that they had come all that way and with the limit only being four they thought they should be entitled to take as many as they wanted to. They must have found some logic in that thought process but I don’t think anyone was buying into it.

This is another example of ignorant people breaking the game and fish laws just because they think they deserve something extra. As far as I know there is no footnote on the rules that exempt anyone from abiding by the law for reason of stupidity.

Until next time, use caution on the ice and always take a little time to enjoy our great Minnesota outdoors.

Remember to keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers throughout the coming year.