Another weekend at the Summer Palace, as it currently sits encased in ice.
The plan was to spend the entire weekend up there; fishing, reading, watching movies… big fun in the months before I hit 50. Was not to be however, I forgot the hated CPAP machine. I’ve become so dependent on it that I was dreading sleeping on Friday night. Dreading it enough that I thought perhaps some self-medicating would be in order. Not a bad idea really. This was the first time since I got the machine back in November that I’ve attempted to sleep without one.
Bad old days revisited. Aside from tossing and turning, I woke several times to gagging and choking. Finally after fighting long enough I got up about 5:15, made some coffee and tried to doze on the sofa. Won’t make that stupid mistake again. A mistake made even more stupid when I tell you that I had the thing packed and ready to go on at the door. Just didn’t pick it up for some reason.
Some lame reason.
I am a moron.
Despite being sleepless in Wisconsin I did manage a great day on the lake. The weather on Saturday was perfect with a capital “P”. Sunny, about 27 degrees.
The plan was to bypass my shitty little lake and head over to Big Round Lake, a lake that the guide books refer to as a “Tier 1” fishery. I’ve certainly done well out there in the past.
The not so recent past mind you.
Big Round a massive body of water compared to lil’ole Blake Lake. It’s about 1000 acres or so, and as it’s name describes, quite round. Structure wise there’s really only a few places on the lake to fish. Most of it is a big shallow basin. Here and there are some decent rock piles. I found one of those rock piles years ago and entered into my GPS. I replaced my GPS and with that move lost the coordinates. That lake is so big that without it, and with 5 years since I was out there last, it’s difficult to triangulate with shore line references, and I’m not good with a sextant. Used to be a grass island out in the middle of the lake that I could use to find the rocks, they were about 1000 meters east and south of the reeds. For some reason the reeds are gone now and I was totally lost. Could just drive out to where everyone else was I guess, and there were a ton of people out there.
Note, as I write this I realize that the old GPS is in fact sitting on the counter at the lake, I showed to my friend. I’m quite certain that the coordinates are there, and had I had a decent nights sleep and 5 less bourbons the night before I might have thought this through.
Well, I tried finding the magic spot and paid a price. Got the Durango stuck out there on the lake. That has never happened before. Usually that tank can get through anything. There was only about 10″ of snow on the lake, but some how the perfect combination of snowpack and ice had me dropping through the snow right on to lake ice and the result was spinning tires. Lots of spinning. Lucky I had a shovel and a good friend with experience in these matters, Californians don’t have a tremendous amount of experience digging cars out of frozen lakes. After a 1/2 hour of digging, pushing, rocking and so forth we got the truck rolling again and I was able to drive, at some speed mind you, to the hardpacked snow and we were safe. My friend has happy to report that he burned off a piece of bacon he’d eaten for breakfast. We are both doing weight watchers. I didn’t mention that we’d each eaten about 4 pieces of pork belly not to mention two cinnamon rolls a piece. So, we could stand to dig for a couple and hours and still skip lunch, dinner and the following days breakfast to make up for it.
With that experience behind me I declared, with some conviction, “Fuck this I’m going to where I know”. Which in this case is Big Blake Lake. And we did. Drove on the lake at the far northern access and proceeded to drive straight down the lake, observing the “No Wake” zone in the narrows, just like I do in the summer. I had a spot in mind, a spot I don’t fish much in the summer but seemed to me that it should be good in the winter, bottom is boulders mixed with some weeds.
This was the last weekend for tip-up fishing in Wisconsin, game fish closed Sunday, and I’m still in pursuit of some pike.
Didn’t get any pike but I did slay the sunfish. My guess is I caught about 25ish over the course of 3 hours. My buddy pulled up another 10 or 15.. great day. So good that at one point I stopped baiting the hook in a “catching avoidance” mode so I could warm up a cold index finger.
The Dog seemed to enjoy himself. He likes ice fishing. Chance to run around all over the lake. He also likes that hole, that amazing hole in the ground that fish come out of. Spends a lot of time watching it, that is until his feet get cold, then he climbs up in my lap. Dumbshit. Won’t sit in the car however, has to be on the lake and in my lap.
All in all it was a great day out there. Warm, fish biting, sunny weather.. chatted with some neighbors I’d never met, very nice day on the lake. Along the way caught some intel on Balsam Lake, big crappies coming out of that lake. Give me something to do next time I get up there, in two weeks.
Saturday night I got back in town in time to watch Auburn/Vanderbilt basketball with the Mrs. Good news is we saw our son in the crowd a couple times. The boy lives. Good news, and he looked good so they’re feeding him down in Alabama.
Sunday was reserved for work, home work like cooking and shopping and work work. Seems that since 2013 started I’ve not had a weekend that I didn’t spend at least half a day working. I don’t mind too much, just gets to be much when I try to fit in a play day and don’t make it to the store.
Househubandry is a pain in arse sometimes.