Friday, March 28, 2014

Iffy ice can bring on those spawners

I wouldn't go out on the ice the rest of the year, at least until next winters freeze  up. Some reports say there are two feet of good ice left. I don't want to be the one to test it.
Last year, at am annual fun fishing outing I went through in deep water. Fortunately for me it was a whole someone had cut. Blowing snow covered it so I didn't see it until my leg went through to my waist.
Scrambling around trying to get some purchase on the slick ice to pull myself back out, my fishing companions didn't hear me shouting for help and they weren't a great distance away. My days fishing ended back at the cabin in front of the stove trying to get dried out.
This Sunday you'll read about Paul Biedieger from Wolverine lake who gave up ice fishing, hooked his trailer to his tow vehicle and pulled his kayak to South Carolina to fish in the second Kayak Bass Fishing tournament.
Even then, in 60-plus degree weather, he managed to get wet when an unexpected visitor came aboard his Hobie Mirage kayak.
Read all about it in my column this Sunday. (photo is of Chris LeMessurier with a nice salmon in warmer times.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ice Flow Joe Zikewich will be missed

I can't say the news about Joe Zikewichs' death wasn't surprising. He had been in a nursing home for some time and was declining almost daily.
The strange thing was what put him in a nursing facility relegated to a bed instead of a bucket on the ice of Lake St. Clair.
Joe had been ice fishing. Sometime during what turned out to be his last outing, he slipped on the ice and fell, breaking his hip which turned into pneumonia.
A memorial will be held in his honor and memory March 29 at the Veteran's Hall on Drahner Road in Oxford beginning at 3p.m.
I'm not sure how Joe would react to all of the attention he's been receiving since his passing. He was always on the other end, the end that was doing something nice for others. Now it's his turn to have something nothing done for him in terms of remembering him.
A proud Navy veteran, Joe served as a radioman aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. Coincidentally, I was a radioman on the USS Topeka, a guided missile cruiser that operated with the Lex.
Since there are so many stories about the man known as ice Flow Joe I'll get mine in. We were fishing  off a DNR ramp in Harrison Township. joe had a large ATV with all sorts of equipment on it.
"Hop on and we'll drive out," he said. "I don't have a helmet," i responded. "Ah, don't worry. No one will bother us?
So we road out, cut some holes and fished for several hours. When it came time to come in, we loaded up and made the drive.
Once on the ramp we headed for joe's trailer. About that time we ran into the biggest CO I have ever seen.
"How ya doin'," Joxesaid in his high pitc
Joe Zikewich loaded for ice fishing
hed voice. The three of us chatted for a few minutes before the CO said he had to get going. "You guys be sure and wear helmets next time you're out," he said.
"We sure will," Joe answered.
That was the Joe i knew always with a gift for gab. He go the name Ice Flow Joe for being rescued off floating ice in the middle of Lake St. Clair. Once he had such a inch catch that he stuck them inside his parka and bibs not wanting to leave them behind.
As his regular fishing pal Glenn Uhl said, "I'm going to missing. We all are going to miss a great fisherman." And a wonderful human being.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Beat the winter-Paul Biedieger did

Many northerners, Michiganders among them, choose to head someplace where it's warm over the winter months. This past year, if you were one of the "snow bird set" you would have missed the November 15 deer opener if you were Florida bound.
                                         (Paul Biedieger in action during last year's KBF tournament)

That's because snow and cold weather actually set in late in October and hasn't quite given up it's grip on us yet although warmer weather is beginning to be predicted.
Wolverine Lake resident Paul Biedieger is one of those that headed south, specifically to South Carolina. Not so much to get out of the snow and cold but to fish in the second annual Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament. You might say he wanted to open the bass season a little early.
Biedieger fished the same tournament last year but under a different format requiring him to qualify before getting into the big show or final day. He not only qualified but finished quite well considering it was his first such tournament.
His performance also got him a spot in this year's tournament on Santee Cooper Reservoir near Cross, South Carolina.
Boats and anglers from all around the country participated this year. They had great weather along with really good fishing.
"I caught at least 14 good fish each day and threw that many or more back," Biedieger wrote. Now if the ice would thaw, warm rains would move in and temperatures would move up those of us that fish or just paddle for the sake of getting out, could begin to enjoy local waters once again.
Sooner or later, it's bound to happen here. Fishing may be set back a little, but in no time we'll be wetting lines and trying out those new baits we've acquired over the winter.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Too much snow depends on whom you ask

Skiers, both downhill and cross country love it. So does the snowshoe crowd. But fishermen are beyond being anxious. They want good weather NOW.
We're talking about the recent snowfall and accumulation Oakland County is dealing with. Those in the weather game predicted a couple of inches of us. We knew better.
When it began snowing and blowing, it wasn't long before those estimates were out the window. More like eight inches here in northern Oakland County.
A neighbor just returning from Florida and the yearly motorcycle rally in that state couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He and his traveling companions had left 70-plus temperatures. When they reached Canton, OH it began to rain. Soon after, semis were off the road, numerous accidents were spotted and the road had become so slippery it was difficult to maintain 30 m.p.h.
Wolverine Lake resident Paul Biedieger solved the bass fishing part of winter. He's in South Carolina fishing the second Kayak Bass Fishing tournament and enjoying 70-plus degrees of warm weather.
Some people know how to plan.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cold, snowy winter doesn't necessarily translate to less mosquitoes

Despite many expressing the feeling that a prolonged cold winter like the one we recently experienced, along with a lot of snow means less mosquito populations once warmer weather arrives. People have generally felt that Michigan's mild winters have made it possible for mosquito larvae to hold over during winter months, developing into those bugs we swat at once good weather arrives.
"That's very optimistic," Howard Russell, entomologist at M.S.U. said. The deterring factor is the amount of standing water that is around.
"With all of the snow we've had this past winter, much of it will melt and collect in low-lying areas making for breeding grounds and the generation of larvae and future mosquito populations," he said.
Your best defense has been and still is get rid of any standing water on your property. Look for water collecting in old tires or in eves troughs. Keep the eves clean.
Use products with DEET in them and try to stay out of areas that hold mosquitoes near dusk. Cover up with long pants and long-sleeve shirts and a hat.
Children should have products with less than 30% DEET applied to any unprotected areas.
See, there are some advantages to winter; no bugs!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Apps for mobile devices available for gaming licens

When you go to buy your 2014 fishing license you can expect a faster experience that gets you in and out quicker than what we've been used to in the past.
A new mobile app is also available for licenses that don't require tags. Along with these changes come some increases in license fees.
These are earmarked strictly for the DNR and will not go into the state's general fund. "That's key to all of this," Ken Neeley owner of K.D. Outdoors said.
"So far, I haven't heard any complaints about the new fee structure. But I'm sure there will be some."
Some licenses-fishing is one example-have been combined into one, all-species tag. There are others that have been constructed in similar fashion.
Increases in fees will go toward habitat improvement; ORV trails, better habitat for rabbits, and the beginnings of hopefully, a pheasant program.
Some money will be earmarked for fishery improvement. "Another element here is it allows the DNR to hire more conservation officers," Neeley said. "We really need more of them," he added.
For more information visit and click on the hunting and fishing structure.