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American Idol Authors: Gregor Petri, Shelly Palmer

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A Beautiful Morning Turns Nasty

There are no restaurants in Stockton that are open for breakfast,

 



Starvation had set in.  There are no restaurants in Stockton that are open for breakfast, so I was up at 4 AM and drove south to Plainview Kansas.  It was only 14 miles.  If you live on the high plains that is nothing.  The motel owner suggested I go south in the morning for breakfast.

 

After I arrived in Plainview, I could see that this was a really nice rural Kansas farming community.  The people at an all night quick stop told me the sale barn offered an early morning breakfast.  Sure enough, there it was, the Plainview Sale Barn.  The resturant was open.  Grain trucks, bull haulers, and other ag equipment was parked everywhere.  This was the spot and the service and food was outstanding.  They spotted me as an outsider, but everyone spoke when I walked to my table by saying, "Good morning."  They all noticed that a fisherman had come in.  There was plenty of advice offered on where to go on Webster and what to use.  You cannot find nicer people than those in the high plains of central America.  When the check was paid, the waitress said "Thank You," not, " Have a nice day," or "There you go."

Here it is.  This is Baxter's Bait Shop in Stockton Kansas.  Walking in, I was met with an amazing site.  This is no ordinary local bait shop.  It is like a mini Bass Pro store.  They have a little of everything and they are long on good suggestions and advice.  I was really made to feel welcome when I came in.  They wanted to visit for a while and help me out with my experience at Webster.

 

 

As the boat was launched on the lake, the absence of any wind was noticable.  Arriving at the spot where the fish had been pounded, a slight breeze from the south created some ripple.  The sky was just getting light, but the sun was not up yet.  As I moved in next to the standing timber, Wham! a nice walleye was picked up.  As I continued to back troll south and then drifted back over the spot where the first one was picked up, Wham! another one was boated.  These fish were a little bigger than the previous ones caught.  Crawlers, better known in some circles as worms, were being used with a spinner.  Each one was coated with some scent attractant.  I am a big believer in using scent on bait.

 

Kick'n Walleye Scent Fish Attractant - Terminal Tackle

This is one of the products used on this trip.  Click on the link above or the picture and check it out at Bass Pro.

As I drifted further from the spot to the north, the water got deeper and both graphs showed little returns.  It was fully light, but the sun had not crested the dam to the east.  I back trolled the boat to the standing timber and another fish was nailed.  Now the wind began to blow.  It was not just a little breeze, but a steady blast of air.  Two more fish were needed, but boat control became really tough.  To motor over the spot and drift back was not a good idea because depth of the spinner was tough to determine.

 

 

Here is the spot.  From previous articles, the big tree is the point to focus on.  Then go 150 yard east southeast and start catching walleye.  It can't get any better than this.

 

Three fish were boated in a total time of 45 minutes.  After I moved to the east along the channel, another fish was picked up, but the size and quality was going down.  The sun was fully up over the dam and more boats were coming into my area.  One went right to the standing timber and tied up.  He began to vertical jig and the glasses showed him picking up a walleye.  Leaving that spot was a bad idea, but there was a 300 mile drive ahead for me.  Also with the wind picking up, it would be tough on me getting the boat on the trailor.

Notice the big tree in the lake.  That is the rally point to begin the fishing extravaganza.  Go east southeast and slaughter the walleye.  You will really enjoy catch and release in this area as it will take some time to catch the minimum length.

I have no idea what is special about this picture.  It just shows the beauty of the lake.

 

I stayed with it for another hour and then the lake really began to rock and roll.  When big waves and white caps rolled across the lake, it was time to give it up.  The total catch for the morning was four nice size walleye and a couple of crappies.  Those kind of results are not bad for three hours.  I headed for home.

 


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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!