On the morning of April 6, Jerry and I were fishing in the boat ramp basin beneath the dam at Pickstown with 16 other nearby boats. I don’t mind not catching fish, but when all the other boats are enjoying success with nice walleyes, it bothers me. Such was the case that morning.RELATED CONTENT
PIERRE — South Dakota’s additional one-half percent of sales tax on tourism-related purchases won’t expire June 30 as previously scheduled. It also won’t become permanent as Gov. Dennis Daugaard wanted — at least not yet.
The last thing Betsy said as I went out the door was, “Do you want to take the GPS?” I told her I didn’t need it. That stroke of genius cost Doug and me about four hours not to mention the extra gas and a $20 cab fare.
Later this month friends and I are going on an Idaho elk hunt. We will hunt with Rulon Jones, the former Denver Broncos defensive end. Rulon owns property in both Idaho and Utah. Check his website at utahelkhunt.com. We can hunt 70,000 acres of unfenced land , or 10,000 acres of fenced land – what Rulon calls “the largest hunting preserve in the world.” These horseback hunts are guided one-on-one, and we may choose either a spike camp with tents or the comfort of a lodge.RELATED CONTENT
Political corruption is synonymous with Illinois. While I was a kid living my high school years in Chicago during the 1950s, Mayor Richard J. Daley’s political machine dictated every Illinois politician’s next move. It included the neighborhood alderman as well as a string of governors who spent time behind bars. Today, we have another arrogant ex-governor who will hopefully spend time behind bars.RELATED CONTENT
My fishing boat, though Spartan in nature, has a live well under the center seat. There are no pumps or batteries. When I want to keep a fish, I lift the lid on the center seat, pull the plug in the bottom of the chamber, and watch it fill with water to the same level as the waterline outside the boat. The water constantly circulates. At the end of the outing, the live well drains when I crank the boat onto the trailer. I remove the fish and replace the plug. It is pure simplicity that does nothing but work!
I don’t really want to tell you about this, for I made a fool of myself the other day, and risked injury to Betsy on top of it. I was going fishing, and I asked Betsy, fresh from hip replacement surgery, to come along. She was hesitant as my little john boat didn’t have a seat with a backrest. Like always, I had a solution. We’ll take a plastic lawn chair with us, and put it in the boat for her.RELATED CONTENT
Catfish are the most under-utilized, unappreciated fish in our South Dakota reservoirs. They get big, they fight with abandon they never quit — and they are good on the table. What more could we ask of a fish? With the catfish spawn close at hand, they are now in shallow water and very vulnerable. Though I’ve caught them in shallow water on sandy or muddy bottoms during the spawn, what happened last Monday was a new experience. Vern and I were fishing from my 14-foot john boat. We were almost against the rip-rap bank on the face of Fort Randall Dam fishing for smallmouth bass and walleyes.RELATED CONTENT
Imagine crazed mule deer chewing and pulling their own hair out, leaving their hides red with sores. Close examination reveals exotic louse chewing on the skin. The misery ends during the winter when freezing temperatures and pneumonia spell the end for the tormented deer. We are talking about DHLS, or Deer Hair Loss Syndrome.
On the afternoon of May 17, fishing partner Jerry and I towed his boat over to White Swan. A more perfect afternoon I haven’t witnessed. Warm but not hot, with modest wrinkles on the surface of a blue expanse that stretched to the hazy green hills of Gregory County. And we had it all to ourselves.
Bear with me for a moment today as I get a wee bit philosophical. Back on Oct. 26, 2011, I wrote about the opening day of pheasant season I shared with friends. I said that we relished the day and pondered how many more like experiences we would enjoy before time threw us a curve ball.RELATED CONTENT
Perhaps I read it in a book, or maybe I learned in school that the millions of bison that once roamed our North American prairies were decimated by wanton slaughter. Hide hunters were a part of it, as were those who killed them in the name of sport. Well, it’s not so, according to a recent article in Petersen’s Hunting August 2012 issue.RELATED CONTENT
When I fish from a boat, I don’t wear my hearing aids for fear of losing one.RELATED CONTENT
In last week’s column, I began telling you about a late June fishing trip to Ontario’s Vermilion Bay area with my grandchildren and son-in-law, Tom.RELATED CONTENT
Do fish have a sense of taste? Can they enjoy biting into YUM or GULP, the artificial bait that feels like it’s alive? In my opinion, they don’t like them as well as live night crawlers or bait fish, but these live bait substitutes are a close second.RELATED CONTENT
On our recent fishing trip to Saskatchewan’s Reindeer Lake, my partner, Vern, wanted to take some fish home. This was important to him to the point that it influenced his choice of outfitters. Though the folks at Tate Island Lodge hadn’t sent anglers home in the past with fish, they agreed to let Vern take our possession limits.RELATED CONTENT
At 5 a.m. on June 14, Vern Carpenter and I left Armour, in my Dodge pickup. Our destination, 1,225 miles due north, was Lynn Lake, Manitoba. Though I had driven to the end of the road in both Ontario and Saskatchewan, I had never headed north out of Winnipeg, and I was looking forward to it. At Lynn Lake we would board a float plane and fly to Reindeer Lake’s Tate Island, the location of our lodge near the west bank and about half way up the huge lake that runs north and south.RELATED CONTENT
For the past month I’ve been trying to put together an informative piece on good bank fishing places within a reasonable radius of Mitchell. Considering the size of our aging population, good spots are sorely lacking. While some communities including Mitchell and Chamberlain have built handicap-accessible fishing piers, the situation needs a lot more attention. Wagner also plans to build such a facility.RELATED CONTENT
A while back I recounted some of the adventures of Olive Reamer, a young widow left alone in the British Columbia wilderness with three small children. An Avon reader informed me that Olive Reamer Fredrickson had written a book, The Silence of the North, and I mentioned that I would make an effort to read it. The Wagner library obtained the book for me, and it proved to be a great story.RELATED CONTENT
We had been fishing beneath the dam at Pickstown. It was late morning when we pulled the boat from the water and rolled up to the area near the fish cleaning station. As we fitted the cover over the boat, Jerry commented, “I can tell from here that the walleyes they’re cleaning are too small.” Yes, some of the fish that morning had been tempting. That same morning we had thrown back two sauger and a walleye that came within an eighth inch of the 15-inch legal minimum.RELATED CONTENT