By John Matonich
Even though Old Man Winter has seemed to come back with a vengeance around here, it isn’t too soon to think about spring and getting out with a fishing pole to your favorite spot. I stopped at one of my favorite watering holes the other day and a number of the folks there were remembering some of their favorite experiences fishing. One of the gents was remembering fishing with a cane pole and I couldn’t help but remember using one as a young lad.
I was very lucky growing up, as I had a father who enjoyed taking me out and letting me wet a line while he visited with some of his buddies. I remember traveling to a lake on the border with Wisconsin and visiting a close friend of my dads who had a small cottage there. Charlie was a great guy and always welcomed me as much as he enjoyed my dad’s company. I really liked fishing off of his dock because he had a number of cane poles with big bobbers and I would spend hours catching bluegills, perch and rock bass while Charlie and my dad compared notes on local news (gossip).
If we didn’t go to Charlie’s place, we would go to a different lake where another friend of dads had a place. Jimmy was also a great guy and always made me feel at home. His lake was very different than the lake I used the cane poles on. This lake was chock full of northern pike, which can get quite large and give even the most seasoned fisherman a handful. I would cast a red and white spoon called a “daredevil” and caught some nice pike there. Jimmy’s wife usually made a big batch of homemade spaghetti with meatballs and as she said some “moosherooms.” Jimmy and his wife both came over from Italy, so you know the meal was fantastic.
I guess I could be ice fishing this time of the year, but I have been so busy in my woodshop I haven’t been able to. I need to be a little more restrictive of the projects I take on so I have the time to do some of these things. I’ve had lots of offers to visit local ice shacks and it would be fun to get back into ice fishing.
I know once walleye season opens in mid-May I will find the time to sit on the end of our dock with some minnows, a pole with a bobber and an adult beverage or six and a portable radio. It is a great way to spend an afternoon and you never know, I might get lucky enough to catch supper. You have to like the idea of that.
I guess I will have to wait a bit, though. The weatherman is calling for 12-18 inches of new snow this weekend. Looks like my time will be in the tractor keeping the driveway open, but it doesn’t mean I can’t being thinking about the spring and all the fishing this area has to offer. Maybe I can get Steph to put a batch of spaghetti together for me loaded with the moosherooms.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.