A four day weekend and I never wet a line! Wow. That doesn’t happen very often but it would have if I had been adventurous enough to walk out on rotting ice, like I did in my younger, more daring, days. I thought about it, believe me, but I’ve pushed the envelope enough that I opted to stay off the lakes.
I did run up north in an attempt to photograph waterfowl but very little open water skirted the shorelines and it was super windy on this day. I’ve learned that gusty days make for poor duck photography as they are usually “in hiding” somewhere and even more skittish than normal.
I did manage to clean out the garage, move snowmobiles into storage, take the boat and riding lawn mower out of storage, and set out some patio furniture. Spring must be here. I can honestly say that I’ve never been so far ahead of the game. Here the boat sits in the garage, with batteries charged, and there’s no local open water to set sail.
Keeping in close contact with the HSM Outdoors crew, I realized that things were happening in other parts of the country but not so much on the iron range. Here’s an example of what the crew is up to.
Pro staffer Jeremy Taschuk, Ft. Frances, Ontario, invited me to join him on one last crappie ice fishing outing but I was unable to make it. After looking at photos of monster crappie, I tried so hard to kick myself, as I have made several day trips to fish with Jeremy in the past. He got into them again, which is no surprise.
Staffer Tom Batiuk, also from “the fort”, had just finished a successful crappie ice fishing trip and was home ordering spring panfish tackle. When Tom does something, he does it up right. His order from Northland Tackle alone was around $450 and would have been more if not for the need of a couple more fishing rods. He was also getting ready his lead-core equipment. I’ve got plans to hop in the boat with Tom for ice out lake trout as soon as the Manitou opens up.
John Marksman, Washburn, Wisconsin, was busy guiding for steelhead. Things are happening there. If you’re interested in a trip with John, go to his Facebook page Brule & Sioux River “Steelhead Nut’z”. Here too, a trip is planned for some spring trolling with him as soon as Chequamegon Bay becomes ice free.
In the Brainerd area, Brett McComas was busy taking part in the “Cancer Awareness Polar Plunge Challenge.” Brett had to really search around to find any open water to jump into. You can check out his efforts on his Facebook page via video. Ha ha. He did, however, skin his leg up pretty good on a piece of ice.
Ray Welle, Moorhead, is busy beaver trapping and had just returned from successful open water walleye outings on Minnesota/Dakotas border waters. An avid hunter, Ray always takes part in the spring goose hunts, as well. Welle has been playing around with Vexilar’s new Sonarphone and is excited to put it to use. This innovative product allows you to turn your smart phone into a fully functional sonar unit. Imagine casting out and seeing just what’s below your bobber. This is truly a game changer, especially for us shore fishermen. Go to Ray’s Facebook page for more info.
John Mickish, White Bear Lake, was sorting equipment and getting his boat ready for the professional walleye tournament season. One can never be too prepared. Here’s wishing you another great season John!
Chad Peterson, Alexandria, spent most of his time working in the studio, editing video clips. He did manage to sneak away for a little shore fishing action, where several nice crappie were caught and released. I think a trip to visit him just might be in store for this coming weekend, seeing how my area is still locked up.
Heading even further south, pro staffer Kevan Paul is busy catching open water walleyes and helping the Iowa DNR in test netting, where several nice walleye and musky were sampled. And the list goes on.
There’s too many of the group to mention but you can bet that each and every one of them was busy doing something “outdoorsy”. For more information, go to HSM Outdoors page on Facebook or to our web site at www.hsmoutdoors.com.
~ Greg Clusiau, HSM Outdoors