Out and About with Bob


It’s the “fall feed bag” fishing season in the Coulee Region.
Panfish, northern pike, bass, catfish and yes, trout are putting on the feed bag for winter.
I was surprised to catch my limit of 15 keeper sunfish in less than one hour this week, although cooler weather has slowed action now.
Bass and northern continue to provide good action, too, but not every day.
As I promised myself, I went trout fishing one more time before the “catch-and-keep” season closed today. However, these soon-to-be 74-year-old legs struggled to wade through deep canary grass and muskrat runs along one of my favorite streams for about an hour. I caught two good-sized trout, but was physically worn out stumbling through the thick understory to get near the creek. Once my hook became tangled on more canary grass across the stream, I pulled and broke my line. That was it. I was finished for the year.
However, God willing, I’ll return to that same stream next spring when winter snow has flattened this year’s grass once again. Check out my video on our homepage.
On another note, we haven’t noticed any deer running through our yard despite the “rut,” or breeding season, swinging into high gear. No doubt, it won’t be long.
My wife did point out a group of 10-12 turkeys foraging in the huge field near our condo in the valley early one evening this week. Her eyes are much better than mine.
Raccoon and squirrels are feeding heavily, too, by the number of roadkills I have noticed in the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, in La Crescent, checked anglers on Pool 8 of the Mississippi River. Anglers report a good panfish bite, but only small walleyes near the dam.
Assistance was given to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recovering missing property.
Pheasant hunters were checked in neighboring stations for the weekend’s opener. Few roosters were observed in hunters’ bags.
DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, stationed in Rushford, reports assisting at a detail in the metro area. Time was also spent checking small-game hunters and bowhunters, and dealing with trespass issues.
Pheasant hunters checked had a slow weekend and said there was too much corn. Archery hunters said deer movement has slowed as well.
Boyum investigated trespass-related calls, which continue to come in. Enforcement action was taken for trespass, using feeding minerals and transporting a loaded firearm.
DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports many people fishing and boating in the area. He checked pheasant hunters in Mower and Dodge counties and found many hunters but not so many pheasants. Hemker also investigated a hunter-harassment complaint and worked a detail in the metro area.