Winter Into Spring with Roughfish29

Ruffie arrived at my house in late february. After some introductions, we started swaping stories about our past fishing adventures. We got to like each other right away

I let ruffie know that things would start off slow for us. Winter had a tight grip on minnesota, and our favorite species haven't quite woken up yet. So, for our fist fishing excursion, we'd be hitting some local ponds and rivers.

We met up with a few of my friends on a local pond stocked with bass and walleye, this wasn't making a very good impression on ruffie. He was always complaining, “why are we fishing for these trash fish?� and “wish they were rougher.� even when my buddy pulled this bass out of the hole, ruffie refused to have his picture taken with it. He even started picking on the fish, calling him names and making fun of his race. He would later learn just how bad of an idea this was...

he spent his time staring down the hole, wishing that he was in warm, sunny, thailand. Honestly, I was doing the same thing

over the next week, I decided to entertain ruffie with some trout. This excited him. He told me all about the massive brown he got to meet while he was staying with coolwater. I told him about the big brown trout that thrived in the vermillion river.

Day 1 produced no fish, but a fun time. We saw a few pike, and some carp. But we were here for trout. We also had the crap scared out of us by an angry swan. This was the first time i've ever seen a swan on the vermillion

the next day we were back. I threw a small spoon around hoping for a brown. On my first cast, I felt a thump, set the hook, and saw a sleek silver shape moving around at the end of my line.

“Good god ruffie, this is a massive rainbow!�

I tried as best as I could to steer the fish away from the brush. I successfully avoided the fish wrapping up in some brush. It got closer and I noticed, pike. A small, pike.

Ruffie was still happy to meet with this toothy slimer

a couple days later, we were back for even more. Armed with a small spinner, I was determined to meet a brown. The one fish of the day, I kew right away that it was a nice northern. My best of the year so far.

ruffie had to try to ride him

then ruffie remembered his pike encounter with skjustin and decided he should probably keep his distance

that was pretty much my last fish for the winter. Ruffie was pretty excited to see fish come from open water in february

Then came the downtime of our trip. I got sick, the rivers came way up with the melting snow, and the fishing was slow.

most of our catches were looking like this

during this down time, I got to teach ruffie how play some guitar

ruffie had slightly heavier taste than my acoustic riffs

about a week went by and I was healthy and back in the game.

Our next spot of choice would be an area that dr.flathead had told us about. Our target would be channel catfish.

When we got there, I thought that it looked promising. I made a cast and began to wait....

and wait, and wait.

I knew that there had to be something around. I just knew.

I decided to move up a tributary nearby to look for other fish. Right when I do that, I hear my dad start screaming. We had hooked a fish. Ruffies eyes lit up as he watched my dad fight this fish.

“What is it? What is it?� he kept asking me. “I don't know yet� I kept responding.

Then the fish surfaced. It was a carp. The first one i've seen caught all year. I ran to get the net. I had to lean over a 3 foot ledge to net the fish. If ruffie hadn't been holding on to my feet, I think I would've gone in

finally, we netted the fish. It started FREAKING OUT. We could not get the thing to hold still. Thankfully, ruffie was there to calm it down and let it know that we would release it

finally, carp

ruffie and I were bot incredibly happy to see a carp again. I told ruffie that I haven't caught a carp since the september before this trip. So we decided to go on the hunt for carp. Ruffie pointed out a pocket next to a culvert that looked great. I made a few drifts through and felt the tell-tale thud of a carp strike .

Ruffie screamed into my ear “SET THE #%&$ HOOK!!!� I swung as hard as I could and watched a gold shape start to thrash in the water. “YOU GOT ONE!!� ruffie kept yelling. But I knew well that I was fighting with my long awaited first 2010 carp.

Upon trying to beach it, the line snapped. Ruffie dived on the fish and water and mud went flying.

Ruffie engaged in an epic wrestling match with the carp. The carp easily had a good 4 pounds on him, but somehow, ruffie got the carp subdued.

Beaten and exhausted, ruffie dragged the fish back to the happy ol' roughfish29 for a picture

ruffie was proving himself to be one badass little sturgeon

upon my way home, I got a text from dj330. It read: “those ponds off of highway 3 are full of carp�

this was good news, the carp are now awake and we can get them. “those ponds off of highway 3� is where I got my first white crappie. I've heard rumors about carp in those ponds but never really targeted them. I told ruffie and the first thing he said was “we're�

and so we did. And the carp were waiting

size was small, but numbers were high

on our third day of fishing there, things were going pretty slow. We noticed fish rolling and breaching every now and then, but we weren't getting many bites.
We had one fish breach behind us several times, so I went to check it out. I casted out my crawler and used the pull-pause technique that I use for locating carp. While doing this I hear dj yell “got one ben, but its small� I then looked at my line and it was snaking away. “i got one and its not small!� I yelled. Ruffie booked it over to me as fast as his fins could take him. “how big do you think?� he asked, “i don't really know yet, but its nice� I said. Then, a head showed up, it was not a carp. “GROSS!!!� yelled ruffie, as he started back towards dj. I yelled “dylan its a huge bass!� dylan came running over to land the behemoth. Ruffie was busy making friends with dj's carp while me and dj jumped up and down like little kids over this bass.

I tried to encourage ruffie to accept the bass as a good fish. “oh c'mon ruffie, i'm not a bass guy either, but this thing is huge!� I told him. “But it aint no carp� he replied. “i'll take a picture, if you want to be in it� I said. “No� ruffie replied, stearnly.

ruffie had to speak his opinion “i can't believe you guys would take a picture of such a gross, ugly, trash fi......�

the bass snapped before ruffie could finish his sentence. If it weren't for dj's quick reaction, ruffie probably wouldn't be with us today. Thank you dylan

after that close call, ruffie was more than ready to have his picture taken with a more friendly fish

we had to give ruffie a lecture about the days events. But ruffie continued to talk smack about the bass.

“stupid junk fish thinks hes better than me. Lets see how tough he is in 80 years�

ruffie was acting tough, but for some reason he just didn't want to return to the ponds

the next weekend was what we've been looking forward to: trout opener

I promised ruffie that he would meet at least two species of fish this weekend

we got up at 4 in the morning, ruffie had some coffee and read the newspaper, while I chugged mountain dew by the gallon and organized my fishing gear.

The river was PACKED with other anglers. Most of them weren't catching anything, but, most of them were pretty foolish, inexperienced anglers. So my hopes were high.

At about 8 in the morning, I was getting worried, we should have had luck by now. Then I got a call from dj, he said he was the only person having luck on this morning. So I headed in his direction and sure enough he was catching trout.

We had to mock ruffie for his bass encounter

I got one trout of similar size, but it floped away before we could snap a pick.

After dj left ruffie told me to break in my new waders. I was more than willing to do so.

Ruffie pointed out some shallow brush that looked super trout-y. So I casted parallel to the brush and got this little fish

two casts later, nuber 3 of the day

ruffie was so happy to meet the rainbow trout. It was a lifelister for him!

A little farther upstream, as I was walking over a bridge, I saw a big white sucker sitting by some brush. My blood started flowing fast. I franticly bit off my spinner and tied on a hook.

“what is it?� asked ruffie. “Big ol' whitey� I told him. Ruffie peeked over the side of the bridge. “you're right that is a big white�

I eased the worm in front of the suckers mouth and watched the fish suck in the worm. Ruffie had to help me get this fish up and over the bridge.

Woohoo! First white sucker of the year!

we ended the day with 4 trout and a nice white sucker! 'twas a fine trout opener

for my post-opener trip, I decided to go brownlining again. Dj330 told me of a creek that the redhorse were running in thick right now.

Me, ruffie, dj, and my dad all got to the creek at about 7:30 in the morning.

Fishing started off slow, the only fish being caught were a bunch of small chubs.

Once the sun got a little higher (about 8:30) dj hooked a nice white sucker

about five min. later he pulled in this tanker golden

my turn. First redhorse of the year for me and one of the best looking goldens i've ever caught

the goldens were coming in fast. On almost every cast.

My dad even got to play, I think this was his only fish of the day

then me, ruffie, and dj were trying to educate my dad on how to I.d. A redhorse. My dad is still pretty new to redhorseing. Ruffie told my dad “a redhorse that has a red tail will be either a shorthead, river, or greater. The easiest way to tidentify a shorthead is to look at is lips and the narrow shape of the skull�

then I hook a fish, dj says “well that one has ared tail.� that got me excited. I notice, shorthead! I landed the fish and showed my dad the differences.

New lifelister with ruffie at my side!

I was satisfied. And so was ruffie.

And to top it off I got my personal best golden! Right around three pounds, a pig

ruffies pic didn't show off the size so ruffie took another one for me

as suddenly as the redhorse bite started, it ended. So the four fishermen headed to new water.

We hit a spot on the cannon river way back in the woods.

Upon getting there, dj immediately hooks up with some nice white suckers. I had a hit right away too, I set the hook and feel a lot of weight. This isn't a sucker. I see a huge golden flash in the water, a carp, roughly 30 inches. unfortunately, it spat my hook. As I was switching hooks to a larger size, dj gets a bite.

Lo and be hold....

I heard ruffie say “nice fish dylan, but you stole bens carp�

last fish of the day was a lot less spectacular

a smallie

ruffie seemed surprisingly willing to have his picture taken with this critter

and that ended the great day of fishing.

Unfortunately, after that outing, I got sick again. My fever peaked at 103 and slowly came down

Ruffie wasn't so lucky this time and he caught my sickness as well, at least he had a lower fever

once we were feeling better, we had time for one more outing before ruffie was shipped out to andy

we hit the cannon with hopes of greater redhorse. But, the only fish caught was one microscopic white sucker

happy trails ruffie, hope to see you again some day