Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer, where have you gone?

I can't believe it's the end of August already. Seems like we just rolled up April and were getting ready for the various fishing openers.
Spring and summer both have passed right by us. We went from winter directly into a chilly summer. Hex bugs were set back knocked out of whack. Not many stories about large trout being tangled with using the hexegina limbata or better known at the hex.
My fishing began early in the year with a trip to Bergland and Lake Gogebic this past January. Since that time I haven't had  a line in the water unit this past Friday evening when I managed to get out with the long rod for a couple of hours on fly water.
I've seen more doctors and hospital emergency rooms than I have lakes or rivers.  I can almost memorize hospital menus, knowing what each institution offers better than I know what is in my fly vest.
Back in the real world for a few days now, my arms are covered with bruises the result of IV's, blown IV's and numerous blood draws.
I look like I was in a hatchet fight without the hatchet. Hopefully I'm on the mend and can eventually get into some fishing before the hard water settles in for another season.
Those of fortunate to enjoy good health should take advantage of it and enjoy every moment to the fullest.
Others, me included, should be thankful we are back and on track to enjoy the outdoor life and all that the fall seasons have to offer.

Monday, August 4, 2014

You've got the perfect excercise tools, so use them

The perfect exercise tool are you feet and legs with walking being the best all-around exercise for most of us.
This weeks column had to do with getting older, slower and perhaps taking the attitude that there wasn't anything left to do once old age has set it.
Doctors keep preaching it. Keep moving. Get off the couch, out of the Lazy Boy, leave the remote home and get outside.
You can begin your exercise as soon as you walk out the door. No special equipment is needed. An old pair of sweats, something to keep your head warm, a pair of athletic shoes and you're ready to go.
Many doctors are saying just 20 minutes of walking a day is sufficient to keep muscles loose and joints working pain-free.
Balance is another important part of our life as we age. So many people fall and break a hip which sometimes leads to pneumonia and possible death.
Actually, getting your balance back is easier than walking. Grab the back of a sturdy chair then raise one leg slightly off the floor and stand that way for a little while. Change sides and hands then do the other foot.
Try balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth. Half way through, change feet. Stand on alternate feet while waiting in the checkout lane. Hang onto the shopping cart for balance.
You don't have to give up the things you enjoy doing as you age. Just remember to keep those muscles and joints in good working order.
Begin now and you'll have the legs, energy and stamina for the upcoming hunting seasons.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A gift for Father's Day was a definite surprise for Lee Anderson

Lee Anderson from Wolverine Lake fishes that lake for bass, pike and panfish. He has never fished for musky nor has he had an interest to do so.
This year for Father's Day, instead of the usual necktie or socks, Anderson asked for a golfing rain suit.
"I got a small bag and opened it up. Inside was a certificate to fish with Captain Don Miller on Lake St. Clair for musky," said.
The trip would quickly involve Anderson's two sons, son-in-law and three grandsons making the charter a great family outing and educational for everyone as well.
"Don was great. He had the kids pick out lures, told then where to stand on the boat when we were trolling, where to move to when we got a strike and where to be when we netted a fish.
Anderson got the first strike which turned out to be a 49 1/4 incher ad good enough for the third largest caught in Michigan this year according to a letter he received from the DNR.
Grandson Connor who is eight, got the next strike, winding in a very decent 36-inch musky.
For more information on musky charters contact Miller at (734)-429-9551,

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mosquitoes and the British are a bad mix

My family all came home for our anniversary party. Son-in-law Jeff is very fair skinned. For some reason the bugs are attracted to him
He had barely been here a day and had been outdoors very little when the pesky bites began. Waking up the next day, he showed me his legs. They had huge red blotches calf-high and included his feet.
The next day most of them turned into blister-like bumps. No over-the-counter creme or anything else had any effect.
The bits were hardly bearable due to the extreme itching. H's very difficult to convince it might be a old time to go to the doctor but we finally did.
Diagnosis: Mosquito bites. Treatment: A prescribed creme that didn't have any affect. He's back home now in England and finally saw his doctor. He's under a regular course of treatment to get through this.
I know everything was put here for a purpose but what the purpose these bugs make is a mystery to me.
Remember to cover up, get that repellent on and if you can, avoid going outdoors at dusk.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Essetial kayak equipment

Besides the kayak itself and a paddle, you'll want a well-fitting pfd. If possible, find one with pockets in it to carry small items; first aid kit, a couple of tackle boxes and the various tools anglers use.
To carry tackle,  couple of Plano 3700's tackle trays should hold enough. Get a milk crate on something similar to keep the tackle in.
Bungee the crate and the trays to the boat. Because water runs in and out, figure out a way to raise your crate. There are all sorts of ideas on You Tube.
Fishing at night is going to require a white light visible for all 360-degrees mounted in the rear. During the day, a brightly colored flag will help other boats see you.
Remember, you'll be sitting very low on the water, practically on the surface. Do all you can to be visible.
Fish with a buddy or let someone know where you'll be fishing and when you'll return. Above all, wear that pfd. Good luck and happy paddling.

Friday, June 27, 2014

VanBaalen not quite at VanDam's level

Waterford resident Patrick VanBaalen won his first bass fishing tournament recently. The 16-year-old was entered in the The Bass Federation Championship on Pontiac Lake June 7.
The field was separated into two age groups; 11-14 and 15-18. Two anglers; one from each age group, were assigned to boats owned and driven by adult anglers.
Each boy had charge of the boat for three hours. This allowed them to tell the operator where they wanted to fish, and gave them the front of the boat along with running the trolling motor.
"I had fished the lake a week before in my kayak and caught a nice four-pounder," he said. VanBaalen had control of the boat first. He had the driver take the to this area.
Patrick VanBaalen with two bass he caught for the win on Pontiac Lake. Photo submitted.
"I was throwing a crank bait in the same area I caught that fish the week before. I had something big on but it got off," he said.
When the other boy got his turn he had the driver take them near the ramp, around the beach area in 10-12 feet of water, with lots of weeds.
"I started drop shooting and caught four in a couple of hours. I finally ended up with a limit of five fish and won the tournament," he said.
The win gives him a trip to Lake Murray in South Carolina, August 15 for the TBF National Championship.
"Lake Murray is huge. There is 600 miles of shoreline with 50,000 acres of water to fish," he said. He'll be fishing against 40 kids from across the country that are considered the best in their respective age groups and states.
What a great opportunity for a young man whose goal is someday to be a full time tournament angler. "I know that is a difficult goal to reach but I'm prepared to work hard to get there," he said.
Good luck Patrick. I'll check back with you after your Lake Murray trip.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Water is not always the best thing to sustain a marriage

Yesterday, June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, is an historical day not only for the significance of the bate the U.S. and other allies fought on the beaches of Normandy, France but coincidentally, it's also the 50th anniversary of my marriage to Patricia Ann Heermans.
Another interesting fact occurred about four years ago when we had a chance to visit the invasion beaches where 1000,000 solders died trying to come ashore and gain control over the Nazi regime that was in poster at the time.
Now that you have some historical perspective and understand the importance of June 6, both as anAmerican for personal reasons and as a couple for our own reasons, I'shed some light on the marriage end of things.
We, or I should say my wife Pat raised our four children. They've all turned out to be honest, productive citizens who make anyone proud.
Wherever we go we received complains about how polite, helpful, and concern for others our children has done."You two did an amazing job of raising them the right way," is the usual comment.
To set the record straight, my wife did the raising. She brought her sense of values and how people should be reared into our marriage learned at the knee of her dad who was an Episcopal priest for 50-plus years.
For an example, before we had children and early in our marriage, I was attending the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Academy. After class one day we went out. I noticed someone on the street and made a derogatory comment about them.
"Why would you say that, Roger?" You don't know that person. "Well our instructor today on patrol tactics said he always looked for the bad in people and had never been disappointed."
"Of course he hasn't been disappointed. It's harder to look for the good in people and find it," she said.
Good advice I should have listened to. As our family came along she began to be tagged with the household duties and teaching the kids right from wrong while I was working eight hour shifts as a policeman, tun drinking all the alcohol I could find during my time off.
I wasted a lot of years, working and sleeping hangovers off therefore missing some great family actives.
I'm not proud of my actions. I am proud how my wife had the internal strength to step in and do the right things while putting up with me and my behavior.
So for 35 of those 50 years she supported me in very way possible. I say 35 years because it's been that long since I've had anything to drink stronger than wine at communion.
I'm one of the lucky that lived through all of this without hurting someone or myself. Goodness knows what it did to my family.
And I am very fortunate to have a wife that was wise enough to stay in the background, go about her business and prayer very hard that some day I would come around, see what a beautiful family I have and change my life.
If someone were to ask me what is the one thing I would do different, without hesitation it would be o never take a drink.
The rest of the changes, like spending time with my family and being a real dad and husband would have naturally followed.
Happy anniversary Pat and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you have done for me.