Thursday, February 25, 2010
Duckpower hits the ice... day one...
The Elusive Great Pond Northern Pike
Cruising along in my GMC Sierra knowing that once again I would be on time, I gave the mighty Outdoorsman a jingle on the cell phone to inquire his whereabouts. You see he had this master plan for me to connect with him at this lake I had never even seen. Our planning the night before from his perspective only suggested that I find this landing at this point on map 20 of the Maine Atlas. Even with Google Maps, I jawed the entire tenure about his high expectations concerning my own navigational prowless. Fortunately for me, he had gone in to work early and checked out in time for us to meet at high noon at his residence. For some reason, my consistent time management skills are never good enough for the man who is constantly late when the boot is on the opposite foot. I suppose he conveniently forgets that he cost me about 2 hours of lobster fishing time last summer because he had to take pictures of a ruffed grouse in the middle of the road to enhance the visual portion of his nationally acclaimed blog...
As I quickly grabbed my ice fishing gear, I asked Mr. Outdoorsman how his auger was running and he replied with a worrisome “I was hoping yours was running well.” Translation, he figured as always that I was prepared as usual so that he neglect any extra responsibility. I gave it a test pull for one reason only, to avoid any type of public flogging over the internet from the one who I think is my friend. It fired without hesitation and was loaded into the truck for some hole drilling action. Steve mumbled something about how it would perform, I smiled and said, “We'll see....”
I had enough foresight to grab bait at my own local venue to avoid randomly searching for one in central Maine. Steve had mentioned the night before about this spot, but I knew that his misdirection would only forfeit more time in my trip. In addition, I knew the quality of the bait I would be bringing as opposed to taking a chance with the Maine Outdoorsman.
We hauled out of the driveway to the scream of “I can't drive fifty-five” in haste so that Steve wouldn't have to help his wife unload the children, three hundred dollars worth of groceries, and the diaper bag. Apparently, I thought, this might be a ploy to utilize me as a reason for skirting his family responsibilities. On any account, the head banging continued as I found some old earplugs in my waders to counteract his enthusiasm for heavy metal.
The wind and sunshine both seemed to be in full force at the landing, which was on the west end of a long narrow point. I hoped we would be on the leeward side, and my wishes were granted as Steve guided us through a footpath to a small cove. I inquired about his lack of steel on the bottom of his boots, he responded with a witty retort of “I'll be fine and you worry about yourself”. I laughed inside and wished for a magical digger, slip, wipe out, or damaging fall. Choose whatever term you'd like, any of them would fit for my hopes and dreams directed upon the sure footed sportsman. Fortunately for me, my father-in-law had given me some steel creepers that “they just don't make anymore”. I would motor all around the cove without fear of falling while I watched Steve negotiate every step like it would be his last.
We would hit the east side of this point at the boat ramp to avert the sharp Northwest wind and declining sun...
It didn't take long to set the gear into the water and our base camp put us near the shoreline well out of the biting wind that battered the point. Steve pulled out his mountaineering camp stove and super size red #7 agents of pain and suffering. For the condiments we would enjoy relish, ketchup, and mustard all stolen from the cafeteria that morning. In just a few minutes, we were dining on a most excellent lunch of hot dogs and chips. However, I immediately began to recognize that this fare was no longer on my family menu of healthy living. There would be reckoning for this and I hoped that Steve's wife would forgive me for the crimes I intended to commit.
There were several flags early in our afternoon, including a most impressive display by the Maine Outdoorsman who was speeding towards a flag that had been quietly raised by yours truly while returning from shifting ice traps further out in the cove. His excitement and anticipation honestly amused and upset me at the same time, after ten minutes of watching the motionless reel I informed him of my inappropriate intentions. He growled about something or better yet, nothing and slipped angrily to base camp. My guess is that he was plotting some type of pay back either through the short term means or by avenue of eloquent writing to smear and defame my good reputation. For a smidgen of his libel check out The Maine Outdoorsman.