Saturday, March 19, 2011

Emil Interlude - Fishin' Savvy

     I had my way on the water, they had theirs. I ran the boat and mostly used bait. Call it old-timer fishing. Markie-boy loved steel. Mostly 'cuz it didn't look like much of anything. Sparkle, wiggle and spin. You tell me what that is? And it claims to be French. Hell, the Frogs don't fish, they eat snails. So go figure. I spent some time on Wedge lake and knew the drill pretty well. Probably out-fished them with my minnows. But they did okay. My plan is to look down on their canoe from above as only a deadman can and give you a spook's eye view of their shenanigans.
     Wedge's bottom is mostly rock, beaver dropped branches and a little weed. Seeing as how they loved to fish tight to the shore, they threw their spinners out and did a fast, straight retrieve. If you're gonna do that and not get hung up, you better start cranking on the way down. Both of them were right handed so their cranks were on the left side. May not seem like a big deal but they were dropping steel on rock in four inches of water. Well, you get the picture. Oh yeah, don't forget to check out the overhanging birch branches.
     Emergent weeds are a hoot. Little minnows seem to love 'em. It's gang busters for pike when a falling lure gets a bunch of minnows to jump. The boys couldn't swim a spinner through the little green spikes. But they could run them across the top. Watchin' Al point his rod tip to the sky and run his spinner like a buzz-bait is poetry in motion. He'll tell you it's not the best way to fish but it'll do in a pinch. Also gets the pike on top of the water. Watching the V of the pike intercept the lure's a pretty good show. My nephew's been known to hoot when that happens.
     Walleye fishing's another story. When they're in shallow, they'll hit a spinner pretty much like a pike. But they seem to pick up on their mistake a little quicker. So you won't catch more than a half dozen before they wise up. Me, I'd outfish'em two to one with with a jig minnow combination. But mostly they're a couple of boneheads, at least Mark is, so they'll sometimes work a spinner like a jig. What the hell is that all about? You jig jigs and spin spinners. 'Swhat the good Lord intended when he passed out names to lures. Let them try that kinda stuff back in the Gopher State and the both of 'em would go hungry. But in the back lakes of Canada where the fish are pretty innocent, droppin' a spinner to the bottom and bouncing it in seems to work okay. A few years later Al came around to my way of thinking. Smart kid. But the old lunkhead insisted jiggin' spinners was just as good. Some people never learn.
     When Markie was paying more attention to his whereabouts rather than his ego he'd position the canoe so that Al could fish forward, parallel to the shore. If the pike were holding tight, his spinner would flash by a couple of pockets on each retrieve. Simple way to cover water. 'Course Markie would end up with leftovers. But leftovers was still good fishing on Wedge. Plus he'd get to work the lake side more than Allan. Maybe pick up a pickerel once in a while. Claims he liked the back seat best anyhow. Watching the boy hook up with fish after fish was better than watchin' Saturday morning fishin' shows in 3-D. Action was just as fast as the money boys but Wedge Lake was happenin' in real time. Fish on. Fish on. Fish on.
     Speaking from personal experience and lookin' at Allan's hands, there was a downside to pike fishin' with spinners. Dealing with treble hooks, steel and toothy fishy did a job on his fingers. A slip here, a wiggle there goes a long way towards pokin' holes in flesh. Even with a master of the jaw spreader and needle nose like Allan. And Wedge Lake transformed him into a jaw spreadin', hook slippin' demon. Got so's Markie would swing a fish around to Al's right side whenever it was hooked too deep. Even got lazy about it. But Al never complained. A bap on the beak, a twist and pop of the spreaders, surgical removal. Jackfish didn't know what hit it. Then it was gone, wonderin' what the hell just happened.
     Seemed like Al grew to be a man up in the northland. And Markie got to be a boy again. I suppose that's the way it's 'sposed to work out.

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