BY ROGER SABOTA
Special to the Star Journal
We often hear the saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Wisconsin just wait a minute.” The weather most everywhere is changeable but we often have major temperature changes in a very short period of time.
Do you remember last spring? As someone who wanted to catch crappies, I do. We would head for some open water hoping to catch some crappies one day and the next day skim ice had formed.
During the period when water warms the fish come into the shallows in preparation to spawn. Those same fish would search for ideal spawning areas, the water would cool off late in the evening and over night and the fish would move out of the spawning areas.
From a fishing perspective it was tough to know what was going on. Some anglers were often switching baits looking for the “Magic Lure.” The Editor of Musky Hunter magazine, Jim Saric, gave anglers a good tip. He suggested that rather than constantly changing baits change the speed at which you retrieve the lure.
Now summer has arrived across the range of the musky and we’ve seen many temperature changes since Musky season opened. This is not unusual through June and early July. As usual catching muskies has been spotty. Some anglers are having great success and others not so much. One angler in Minnesota recently caught a 57-inch musky on Pelican Lake. The report that I read said that last year he had caught a 53-inch musky on that same Minnesota lake.
As mentioned previously the speed of the retrieval of your lure can have an effect on your success. And in general as the water temperature increases, increase the speed of your lure retrieval. Likewise as water temperature decreases slow your retrieval.
My hope is that the walleyes in Canada are biting!
Many residents have stories to tell about raccoons. Depending on your encounter with the rascals your feeling about them may be positive or negative.
We have been “entertained” by numerous raccoons over the years from trashcans being tipped over, bird feeders being raided and destruction of some hummingbird feeders. Occasionally we have captured the culprit with our camera.
One of our hummingbird feeders is brought in nightly to prevent its destruction as the raccoons venture out on the rod that extends out from the railing of the deck as they tip it and drink the sweet nectar. That has usually resulted in the feeder landing on the ground below in several pieces.
We have, at least most of the time, prevented the raccoons from reaching the hummingbird feeder that we have suspended on a shepherds hook. We spray the pole with W-D 40. Vaseline also works. A trail camera located nearby proved who was draining the feeder. That was prior to spraying the pole.
Raccoons have their young in the spring so if you have had raccoons in your area there are probably more now.
They will eat most anything! If water is available they will wash the food before eating it. If not they may rub it to get rid of any debris. Raccoons are good climbers and fast runners. They are ferocious fighters and have been known to kill a dog.
TRAIL CAMS TO TEACH
The Wisconsin DNR hopes to help kids appreciate the outdoors and they also hope to gain information to help the DNR make wildlife management decisions. They have developed a pilot program and have partnered with several schools in Wisconsin. They hope to have over 6,000 trail cameras placed across the state, 90 in each of 72 counties. They are looking for volunteers, individuals and educators to get involved. Those who are interested can find more information online at The DNR website.
Longtime Northwoods outdoor enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.