I still feel badly about it as I don’t like making mistakes. Jerry and I were trolling Ratlin’ Raps (we’ve found these to be very effective in our Missouri on walleyes, smallmouth bass and northern pike) along the shoreline in about 8 feet of water. We had earlier fished the fastwater, but that action was slow so we decided to cover another area. In just a short time we had caught a few respectable northern pike when Jerry said, “Fish on!”
The muskellunge, also spelled “musky” or “muskie,”is a large predator fish typically of, but not limited to, the north woods including southern Ontario, northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River. South Dakota has one musky lake, Amsden, east of Aberdeen. I’ve never fished Amsden.
I don’t believe the magnitude of the deer die off, primarily caused by EHD and transmitted by the bite of a midge, can be exaggerated. I’ve read about Hutchinson County being a focal point. Based on what friends and neighbors have told me, southern Charles Mix County falls into that same category.
In last week’s column, I talked about the prognosis for the 2012 South Dakota pheasant season. I’ve received much feedback, most of which supports hot and dry conditions being better than cold and wet. In general, the ringneck hunting should be better than last year’s.
A few weeks ago, this column included a photo of some young men holding a flathead catfish that came from the Randall Dam tail waters. A number of readers have commented that that fish should have weighed 20-25 more pounds. I feel that their observations are correct. The fish beneath the Randall Dam are starving. Usually seagulls work the tailrace for baitfish. Not so this year.RELATED CONTENT
Though I enjoy watching TV anglers fish in exotic places for species I’ve never caught, I also watch the TV fishing shows to learn of techniques that might work well on my home waters. I watched such a program last night, and I’m anxious to try it in the Fort Randall Dam tailrace.RELATED CONTENT
You don’t need to know about the internal problems in our marriage, the most common bones of contention, and the things about me that cause Betsy some real stress, but I’ll tell you anyway. After all, you readers are kind of like family.RELATED CONTENT
I know you’re all waiting for a report on Tom Kocer’s management elk hunt in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Unfortunately, Tom failed to qualify with his rifle.RELATED CONTENT
A few evenings ago, Betsy and I walked down to the Randall spillway from the visitor’s center to watch the discharge.RELATED CONTENT
In this column two weeks ago, I was very upbeat about fishing conditions on our Lake Francis Case Reservoir. This related mostly to the phenomenal growth I’d observed in walleyes and smallmouth bass since last year. Now, I’m even more enthusiastic than I was two weeks ago. This relates to the appearance of a healthy northern pike population. I feel like a kid with a new toy.RELATED CONTENT
Like all of you, I have my dreams. In one of them, the In-Fisherman magazine people call me about a fishing technique they read about in my column.
As I sat down at the keyboard this morning, Betsy asked me what I was going to write about.
Relative to hunting or fishing adventures, I really enjoy reading about the way it was.RELATED CONTENT
When I went into Abby’s at Pickstown Friday for some wax worms, there was a photo of Mike on the counter with a recent 20-pound, 8-ounce northern pike.RELATED CONTENT
Late last Saturday afternoon, we went over to LuAnn’s, our daughter, to say “goodbye” as we would head back to South Dakota the next morning. We offered to take them out for supper, and a hearty “Yes” was heard without hesitation. On the way to Culver’s, we stopped at our house to pick up some discount coupons.RELATED CONTENT
I had one fine time this past year with either a rod or a gun in my hand, and it was sweetened with the presence of grandchildren. There were also trips to new places.RELATED CONTENT
Late last summer, I wrote that one didn’t have to be a person of means to enjoy an elk hunt as a cow elk hunt can be had for a small fraction of the cost of a bull elk hunt.
On Nov. 9-10, my Wisconsin grandkids – Sam, 15, Grace, 12, and Gabrielle, 12, went on what was a first hunt for the girls. They were accompanied by their dad Tom and his friend Steve, along with grandma Betsy and me. We hunted the Corson County ranch I’ve hunted for the last 43 years.
On the north side of the Grand River, there is a place where a half-mile stretch of timber, mostly willow and cottonwood, lies between the river and the flat beneath the high rim to the north.RELATED CONTENT
I don’t normally hunt pheasants with a large group, but a good friend invited me to join a group of his associates, and I felt honored to be there. I believe that there is always a higher element of risk with a larger group, and this hunt was no exception even though a number of veteran hunters participated.RELATED CONTENT