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Kevin Winkler

Todd County, Minn.

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Back to the basics

   Now that I have kids and they are getting old enough to spend time with me on the water, it got me thinking. I remember the first time I got my own "New" life jacket and was going to bring in the fishing opener with my dad and brother. It was planned that we would fish for Pike on Maple lake in Todd county. That was over 30 years ago and I still remember the dreams I had for months after that first opener. My arms felt like jello from all of those pike trying to yank that steel rod out of my hands. Those pike we no more than 2 to 5 pounders, but to a little guy they were like fighting 50 pounders. Our bait of choice that day was a orenge and copper hammerd spoon. There was red and white's, black and whites, green and whites, even a yellow with 5 diamonds on it, silver ones and gold ones too. I know if I go out to my boat and look now there are none in there, I took them out years ago and they are laying in a box of lost treasures out of sight from all of my newer and better stuff. I have promised myself that I am going to dig them back out this summer and the boy and I are going out to the lake and we are going to fish with them. Not because I feel I need to connect with my childhood again, but to catch fish. The biggest pike I seen all last summer was hanging in a tree just down the block from where I live. The proud captor standing for a picture and telling the story of how and maybe where he got the monster. It was pushing well close to 30 pounds ... Well maybe just under 20 pounds, but having seen this guy on the lake more than once and by looking in his boat at what was on his rods for bait, none other than a black and white spoon no more than 3 inches long. I'm not saying I'm going to give up my Lindy rigs or Rapalas, I'm just going to head out and get back to the basics.

  I'll post a report here when that day comes, probably sooner now that I'm thinking about it again. Until then, good luck and good fishing to you all. Hope to see you on the water, and remember to take a kid fishing.