My retirement from the Nashwauk-Keewatin school district has officially set in and now is the time to make a few minor life adjustments. One thing sort of scares the daylights out of me though and that is am I going to fish too much? Is that even possible?
The thought of jumping back into the guide scene has crossed my mind but the jury is still out on that one. I do, however, have a trip or two already lined up for this month with past clients. They love walleye and just can’t get them figured out. Lucky me.
My regular fishing partner, Blake Liend, should be thrilled to death, as I will be out quite a bit during the week making our outings more of a sure thing, not that we have done poorly in the past but we have had our days of struggle time. Everyone does.
I do know that plenty of experimenting will be done on my part in trying to unlock that special bite that most all lakes have. I enjoy that. To me, figuring out how to catch fish is almost as much fun as catching them. Almost.
Take last Sunday for example. Fishing a large, deep lake, which is usually slow to warm, I was faced with a tough bite. Things weren’t going well but I expected that and still had plenty of fun exploring the shallows, looking for fish. The absence of vehicles in the parking lot pretty much told the story, as I was the only one there.
Standing up and slowly cruising the shallows is always fun, especially when the fish aren’t biting well. By doing this, when the wind allowed, I spotted a few northern pike and bass but it was panfish that I was looking for.
I did see a few spooky crappie that took off in an instant. Bluegills were plentiful but small in size, telling me that the spawn hasn’t taken place yet. I’m figuring the crappie have already spawned on this lake and the gills are just getting ready.
Catching a dozen or so of the small sunfish I abandoned that tactic and switched gears, casting for bass and northern. Almost immediately, I had a hard strike but missed the fish. Several casts later I noticed a very large bass turning away from my lure at boat side. That was a real beauty.
Jumping around the lake, still casting, I latched onto a very nice largemouth bass. A few casts later, I experienced a tremendous strike and had a fish on for only a second before losing it. Judging by the size of the boil in the water, it was big. It sure felt so anyway and I’m hoping it was a northern pike. I wouldn’t mind losing a large northern but if that was a bass I don’t want to even think about it. I’ll come back to this lake in a few days, maybe a week, to see if the bluegills and walleye are biting.
Free time is abundant now and some of it will be spent traveling around the country during mid-week on behalf of HSM Outdoors, where I will be fishing, writing about, and filming members of our deserving pro staff.
Another benefit to this being out of work thing is the option of writing my weekly column on a Monday morning instead of coming home tired on Sunday evening and trying to put something together before going to bed. I’ve fallen asleep at the computer before trying to finish an article, knowing that I had to be at work by 6 a.m. the next morning. No more. As a matter-of-fact, it’s late Monday morning right now and I’m sitting here sipping another cup of coffee. How nice. And as soon as I’m done, I’ll be contacting my brother Joel to let him know I’m ready to go fishing!
~ Greg Clusiau, HSM Outdoors