It’s kind of funny how our Minnesota weather can change from the almost balmy temperatures in the 60’s a little over a week ago to tornadoes and wind finally culminating with snow and cold once again. Let’s face it – this is Minnesota weather!
I do think that we had gotten a little spoiled, once we were treated to weather in the 60s for a few days in February. This really made it tough to go back to reality.
Reality, for me, has set in; taking the form of the dreaded “cabin fever” which has no sure cure but can be treated in a few different ways. One such cure or temporary fix is to watch a few of those outdoors shows where the folks on the show always seem to be having much better luck fishing than I, myself, usually do. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when l was watching Al Linder’s In-Fisherman show and weighing on every word as if it were the gospel. Al has since moved on and has started a new show that is called “Angling Edge” although these days I don’t really watch those shows with as much enthusiasm as I once did.
Whenever I do watch a fishing show my wife will sometimes ask, in good humor, if the guy is catching the same fish over and over. When my father-in-law would make that comment and insinuate that it was all rigged, I would get on the defensive because my hero, Al, would never think of doing such a thing. It took a while before I realized he was just saying that to get a rise out of me. On the other hand, it always seemed to leave a little doubt in my mind.
Whenever I am thinking spring I have to look back to the days when my wife’s mom and dad would go bullhead fishing in early spring and on many of those times my wife and I would accompany them. Although I never was all that fond of cleaning bullheads, I had to admit the catching was fun. When the boys were old enough they would go along and what better way to get them excited about fishing than catching bullheads. I learned a long time ago that kids don’t really care what they are catching; just as long as they are catching.
There were a few places around Twin Lakes, where my in-laws lived, that boasted some good bullhead fishing in early spring. One thing that you must know, when you live in a small community and one of those folks stumbles upon good fishing fortune he may not always be willing to share with everyone. My father-in-law knew a lot of folks in the area and some of them would give him permission to fish a pond or land with access to good fishing water. We fished one pond that had these big yellow-bellied bullheads, I mean these things were huge. Brian, my oldest, was about seven or eight at the time and loved to fish. Catching those large bullheads was a real thrill for him and I have to admit that his dad kind of liked it too.
There was a pond located somewhere by Bear Lake that had crappies in it that we got permission to and fished a few times. The fish were of the size that made you think that another year would make them eating size. This didn’t matter because the kids (old and young) just had a blast catching and releasing those fish. This only lasted a couple of years before it froze out and I never did hear if the farmer ever re-stocked it.
I used the experience I gained by introducing my boys to fishing to get the grandkids started fishing. Taking a youth fishing is a rewarding experience and the most important skill you must have is patience; it takes time to hone any skill. I am proud of the fact that I spent a lot of time fishing with all of my grandsons and they all enjoyed it. My oldest grandson, Trevor, has taken it to another level and now I am learning things about fishing from him. I don’t need to watch Al anymore; I can just ask Trevor any “how to” question that I may have. My grandson Dylan, has also become a very good fisherman; maybe not as intense as Trevor but he loves to fish every chance he gets. Taylor and Grant also like to fish but don’t go at it as hard as their brother Trevor. All of the boys have a common interest: it’s spending time in the outdoors whether it is fishing, hunting, running, playing tennis or just throwing the football around.
Until next time: It won’t be long until the lakes are open so get the fishing poles ready for some early season action.
Please take some time to honor those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Also take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.