An eventful opener

Posted 5/18/22

By Brian G. Schommer Saturday, May 14th was the “Minnesota Fishing Opener” and at least from the prospective of this columnist, it was quite eventful. Personally, I would love to be writing about …

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An eventful opener


By Brian G. Schommer

Saturday, May 14th was the “Minnesota Fishing Opener” and at least from the prospective of this columnist, it was quite eventful. Personally, I would love to be writing about how my lovely bride and I ventured out on the opener together for the first time ever and came home with our limit. Sharing a fish tale about the huge 30” walleye that was netted and then released, complete with a photo for proof would certainly be noteworthy as well. As it is, however, the only part of this that would be factual would be that for the first time in over 27 years together, my wife was by my side on the opener. The opener however was still quite eventful despite no fish being netted. Heck, we didn’t even have a net with us.

We decided to keep it simple this year which I know will disappoint readers that consider themselves avid fishing aficionados. Instead of making sure the gear was ready to go a few days ahead of the opener and the motor on the 14’ Alumacraft was primed and set to make waves, we decided to fish from shore. I grabbed a couple of spin casting rod and reel combos, the trusty tackle box and headed towards Lake Rebecca to try our luck. We stopped for nightcrawlers and while I won’t say where, I will say “ALWAYS” check the bait before you buy it because when you get to your fishing spot to find “DEAD” to the point of “SLIMY DEAD” crawlers, it has a way of changing your course. Lesson learned.

With no live crawlers, I decided I was just going to toss a spoon for a bit with hopes to gain the attention of one of those Northern Pike or even a Tiger Muskie that might be hanging around. I put a chunk of fake “crappie” bait on the other rod and reel and quickly realized something very important. Over the 40+ years that it has been for my wife to try her hand at fishing again, she forgot how to do something that is very important. Let us just say that “casting practice” will be happening soon. I must admit it was kind of cute seeing her get frustrated and we both had some good laughs. This is where the opener started to become quite eventful and provided some more “lesson learning” opportunities.

As it was a beautiful day and we were a hop, skip and jump away from the trail along the Mississippi River in Hastings, it was time to adapt and improvise. After dumping the dead bait in a trash receptacle, we put the fishing gear in the back of the Jeep and drove to the parking area off Tyler Street, just east of the Rotary Pavilion. It was simply to nice outside to not take advantage of the wonderful sites and sounds between the train bridge and the boat landing. We encountered several people out walking, biking, and jogging. The weather certainly plays on our emotions and when it is sunny out, the demeanor of folks tends to be sunny as well. This was quite evident on the path as there were plenty of pleasantries exchanged. It is a bit amusing however that people who are running, even when they try to smile, look like they’re in pain.

The rest of the day was quite productive as well and much of it was spent outdoors. We finally got the Mustang out of storage and started talking about more “Outdoor Adventures” that she will take us on this summer. Like most people, there are times I am simply not happy with what I have. As I was saying, “while she is not the ‘67 Mustang, blue in color convertible with a 289 under the hood that I…” I stopped myself. It was not a “lesson learning” opportunity, but more of a “REMINDER” moment. I was reminded of something my mom told me multiple times over the years. “Be happy with what you have, because you never know when it might be gone.” Ironic that this happened on the sixth anniversary of her death… I think not. The 2001 Ford Mustang convertible is no different than motorcycles, boats, classic cars, four wheelers, et cetera. This vehicle is truly a vehicle for fun, enjoyment and it suffices the want, not really a need. Be happy with what you have because you do not know when it could all be gone.

Did we catch a bunch of fish? Absolutely not. Did we have a wonderful time together and accomplish a ton of things around the house when we got back from grabbing the Mustang? Absolutely. Were we both reminded of lessons that we had learned long ago and maybe lost touch with a little bit? Most definitely. Did I know I should have checked those crawlers before purchasing them? Of course. Sometimes, we need reminders about things we already know so we can keep on, keepin’ on. Maybe this column can be that for others? Let this serve as a reminder how important it is to “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”