By Joanie Buettgen
What do you think Minnesotans do in the fall? Watch football? For us, fishing is a great way to enjoy a day on the water.
My husband Mark and I set sail for Green Lake in Spicer, Minnesota. Last Saturday’s forecast was perfect. We knew the area would be bucolic.
I brought onboard a canvas tote bag filled with Cheeze-Its, water bottles, apples, and rain gear. Our hot spot was the walleye hangout.
The lake looked like glass when we baited our lines. Ominous dark clouds were on the horizon. The boat swayed and water lapped against the boat. As the minutes ticked the skies forewarned us of a storm. Minutes later, two-foot swells erupted on the lake. The sky continued to look threatening. The walleye chop increased to two foot breakers. We steered the boat to a quiet side of the lake to wait out the storm.
Rain drops fell two-by-two. All of a sudden a down pour ensued. We were drenched. After an hour we headed back to our hot spot and the bass. As Mark was reeling in a huge fish, the line burst. He persisted and landed five small mouth bass.
As the day progressed Mark tutored me on fishing. “Now remember, when you feel a bam, pull out your line, close the bale, and set the hook!”
“What does a bam feel like?” I asked.
“It could be a tap, a strong strike, or you feel some resistance,” he said. “We might be in weeds from time to time. Bring your line up off the bottom, about a foot, so it doesn’t tangle. In 30 feet of water there are no weeds. Let the line drop to the bottom and wait.”
Suddenly, tug, tug, bam, bam, bam. It felt like resistance. I tried to recall…“Pull out your line, close the bale, set the hook.” My rod tip bent, my line was spinning in “figure-eights”. Slowly I kept reeling and landed my first a large-mouth bass.
At high noon the lake went from steel gray to light green. Minute’s later bright sunshine peeked out from the clouds. The wind changed. I shed my sweatshirt, my coat and hat. I pulled out the satchel with sunglasses, lip balm, water, and a crisp apple. Then I propped up my feet up and relaxed.
Suddenly I heard an implausible sound. I witnessed a four-pound bass leap out of the water. It was 20 feet from our boat. He flared his gills as if to say, “Catch me…if you can!”
My jumbled Trilene line was a constant hassle. Mark rescued my line in record time. He patiently unwound the mess like a pro. Our Garmin fish locator showed numerous abysses on Green Lake varying from 30 to 50 feet.
As the day progressed, we decided to go back to the north side of the lake for the third time.
Later we noticed there was no chop, no rain, no fish! We decided to pull the plug and call it a day.
My dinner that night was a forlorn, one-pound bass. I savored the miniscule portion. On our next fishing trip I’ll catch a lunker.
Published: More.com, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Thankful-Home.tv, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.
Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.
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