An Outdoorsman’s Journal-,
By Mark Walters
Barron/Polk County Getaway
Hello friends, This past week, I have had a lot on my mind, as at first, I had bad news, which was followed up by a fun camping and fishing trip, with my good buddy, Paul Bucher. Paul owns and manages the Cumberland Advocate and the week ended with good news.
Friday, June 12 • High 77, Low 44
I am driving on interstate 94, then 53. The same roads I would have been on, if, as in like the last 38 years, I was heading to Canada, with the gang on this same date. This was supposed to be the day we went to Red Lake, Ontario.
Because of Covid 19, we changed that date twice and two days ago, received word our final choice was not going to happen, because the border is closed.
In reality, I was really bummed!
Paul and I have slayed big gills in early June, each year, and I camp in northern Barron County. This year, Paul would camp with me, and we had two casual days of fishing and two nights around the campfire.
Both days, I would spend some time hanging out at Indianhead Sport Shop in Cumberland, which is a fun place to shoot the jaw with lots of very cool people.
So, we build our camp and head over to a lake in Polk County, with Paul’s 17.5 Alumacraft Competitor in tow. This weekend, I would have it made, as I would fish with the best pan fisherman I know, and I would not have to drive the truck or the boat.
The lake we would fish, is one we fished last year, and I am not lying when I say we caught some 10-inch gills.
Unless you have lived on your couch the last six months, you are aware it is frequently colder than normal and almost every day, there is a heck of a solid wind.
Paul does not like to anchor when bluegill fishing; what he likes to do, is drift and control the boat with his electric motor, as he works the shoreline and drop-offs.
Today, like every day I fish with Paul, it seemed like I was a spectator and I watched the live fishing show put on by him.
The hot ticket was a pink Genz worm, and his technique was to put a wax worm on it and jig off the bottom. Like last year, a 10-inch bluegill was caught and it was released to grow to 11 inches.
Saturday, June 13 • High 71, Low 44
It became quite chilly last night, and the fly blew off our tent while we were sleeping. Today, we started out fishing in Barron County, and we put a lot of time into it, but all we could catch were small gills and at least 20, 12 to 15-inch bass.
In midafternoon, we headed over to a Polk County lake and we had a hoot on the sumo gills. Neither Paul or myself will keep a medium-sized gill, and when I cleaned our catch, they were all 8.5-9.75 inches.
Tonight, my mood was excellent, and two good buddies sat around the campfire and had a big time doing nothing but cooking burgers, enjoying a few beers and laughing at unimportant things.
I forgot to mention that the Canada Gang had put me in charge of finding a good lake and lodging in the lower 48, and to hopefully get the dates of roughly July 3-10.
I was driving home on the same interstate, when I had a brainstorm. I have some friends who love to fish Upper Michigan’s, Lake Gogebic. I made some calls (thanks, Josh and Ed) and was told Gogebic is an excellent option.
That night, I had a long talk with the owners of Timbers Resort and three nights later, I met in person with the Canada Gang and we have us a plan that is 100 PERCENT centered around having a good time.
Keep thinking, keep moving! Sunset