Battle of the Ponds 2014

     Ever been to a fishing club meeting?  Notice anything?  Maybe a lack of younger anglers?  Who is going to keep the conservation going after we are to old to cast a line?  For the last 4 years I have organized a scout fishing derby on the Wisconsin free fishing weekend.  Having it on the free fishing weekend allows those families to fish that normally don't or can't fish.  It started with just the Cub Scouts of Pack of 39.  Then we invited the Girl Scouts of Troop 2825 (they won the first year we invited them).  This year we are inviting other area Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops to join in the fun.  We are expecting 40-100 kids fired up and ready to fish.
     I give out a rod and reel combo as a prize for the biggest fish caught in 4 different classes.

  1. Cub Scout
  2. Girl Scout
  3. Boy Scout
  4. Non-Scouter Youth
     As always I am happy to take prize donations from local companies.  We hand them out to kids that show good conservation ethics, determination, a helping hand for less experienced anglers, and for the smallest fish caught.  This fishing derby is strictly catch and release, and we do a "Good Turn" by having a pond/park cleanup when we are done with the event. 
     So if you get a chance, swing by and check it out.
     Tight Lines.

Iowa Hawg Hunt 2014

     Aprils musky outing with the Capital City Muskies chapter of Muskies Inc. has always been a bit of a crap shoot.  In 2012 we arrived to sideways blowing snow and 18 degree weather.  In 2013 the local small town bar got the best of us the night before the event and long story short we weren't firing on all cylinders in the morning.  2014 found me flying solo and working the shore in what turned out to be perfect weather.
Nauti Lure
     I started out on the far side of Pleasant Creek lake casting from shore.  I was throwing Echotails with the leader clipped in the front hole on the lure to make it swim higher in the water column like a crankbait.  Well this didn't work, the idea not the lure.  The Echotail performed flawlessly the problem was Pleasant Creek lakes entire shoreline is filled with riff-raff rock.  Being a man made lake the rocks cover the shoreline and shallows causing me to lose 3 of my 2 1/2 oz. Echotail lures.  Not to worry I had just picked up some new lures and was itching to get them in the water.
    Just before heading to Iowa I was offered a Prostaff position by the fine people at the Nauti Lures Company.  I love these bucktails because they use silicone skirts and are made right here in Wisconsin.  I hooked them up and started casting.  I tried to spend as much time as possible before the lunch break working the points I could access from shore.  As I chatted with some locals about the lake I saw a silver flash out of the corner of my eye.  It was a musky, not a big musky, but still a musky.  That thing was moving, gills flared, and mouth opened in pursuit of that Nauti Lure.  So where is the picture?  Well...sometimes when your shorefishing you kind of run out of water.  The people that were standing with me went nuts.  Hooting and hollering and all fired up saying, "Holy Crap! I've never actually seen one of those before!"  I just sucked it up and started casting again.  This is how musky fishing goes, you see many more than you catch.
    After lunch I pulled out the waders and headed down the south side of the lake.  As I turned into the first bay I saw a nice mid forties musky lazily following my bucktail.  As he came closer he caught sight of me and turned off.  This would have been a new personal best, you know, if it would have hit the lure.  Undeterred I continued on my way and heard Shane yelling and high fiveing his boat partner. I knew what this meant, they got one in the net, a nice 34 incher.
Nice catch Shane!
     As I headed back to the pavilion for the awards and fishing stories I was smiling.  I had a great outing in 2014.  Sure I still haven't caught a musky at Pleasant Creek Lake, but that's okay.  Also somewhere on the lake I left my sweatshirt.  It was one of those nice thick zip up numbers.  I miss it sometimes, usually when it's cold...never mind.  I love this outing and have every intention of showing up in 2015.  
Don't smoke it's bad for you!  If you've found my sweatshirt enjoy, it's warm.

     Tight Lines.