Cold, snow mark end of fishing season

By Bill Bartusek

The cold in October continued through the weekend. As we pulled off of Highway 169 North at Aitkin, we were greeted by big white snowflakes. We had come to do some fishing and pull the docks out for the year.

Brenda and I were joined by neighbor Steve Fisher and friends Tom & Kerry Ohnstad. It was chilly in the cabin so we started the woodstove and drove to town for a bite to eat. We also planned to celebrate Brenda, Steve and Tom's birthdays, which are all this week. It was still cold when I started the coffee the next morning. Somewhere between 22 and 25 degrees. There was also a brisk Northwest wind blowing across the lake. We didn't stay out too long as the guides on the rods kept freezing up.

One nice pike was landed for our efforts. After lunch we cut up three pickup loads of wood from a neighbor's property. Sunday was even colder and a bit more windy.

We cancelled the fishing and loaded the boat for the long trip home. It had stayed at the cabin ever since April.

We pulled the docks and stood looking at the barren looking shore. I thought about all the stories the sand on the beach could tell. The year was a good one despite the hot summer. Most trips to the lake were dry ones. We've finally gotten some rain and the lake has come up two inches. The next time I fish the lake it will be covered with ice.

Back home I'm going to do some pheasant hunting and ready my gear for the upcoming deer hunt. The boat will get a cleaning and a wax job. After that, the Champion (boat) will get some well-deserved rest. I can't count the fish that were landed in the boat this past summer.

Sweet dreams until spring!

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