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"The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be."
John Gierach

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" If we concentrated on the really important stuff in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles!"


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Capt. Butch Rickey

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The time between my last trip last Thursday and this morning had been crazy. I had strange things happen the Thursday afternoon that Bill and Gregg didn't know about. No details here, but I spend the whole time in bed. I could not stay awake. I had multiple issues to deal with, and now a month away from 70, an old salt who's hardly been sick a day in his life other than a cold, is sick.

I had a trip scheduled for Monday morning very early with Erick Burnthorne, from Dallas, Texas. Now, here I am all of a sudden barely able to stand up straight, and am unsure if I can control some of my body functions. I knew instinctively I was facing a surgery for sure, and God knows what else. I also knew that if I could pull this trip with Eric off, if would be my last kayak trip for a while. I hoped maybe I could get in some time with my friend Jonathan Tipples perhaps in his boat, which wouldn't require all the physical activity that kayak fishing involves (not on the water, but in all the preparation).

I kept playing Eric's last email to me over and over in my mind. He was so wired about getting out and doing some kayak fishing with me. I just couldn't let myself disappoint him. But, meanwhile I was beginning to try to find alternatives for my upcoming trips. And, I was getting appointments made.

So, Eric and I met at the Circle K near my fishcamp at 6 AM Monday morning, and I knew in my bones it would be the last trip for me for some time to come. This day would be different, as I was going to let Eric do all the heavy lifting possible, and we would move the boats empty. We did make it work. Eric was a real trooper, and in spite of the pain I was in, I really enjoyed the day with him. And, in spite of the awful tide we had that day we did manage 1 redfish, 4 snook, and a catfish.

I also found out what I needed to find out; could I fish any more while making arrangement to get to surgery. The answer, even with Eric's help, was a resounding "NO!". I was very glad we did go though, as Eric loved the boats, the water I took him to, the fish, the wildlife. It was just a good day on the water, and I am so glad we went.

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I received a short fishing report and note from my old friend Tom Olson, up in Wisconsin. It follows here. What a fish!

Hi Butch:

Was out in my kayak tonight fishing with a light spinning rod and a #4 Mepps spinner trying to get a small northern pike to eat for dinner. Only had a small net with me. This girl hit the bait about 20 from the kayak in about 10 of water. I knew there was no way to land her with the net I had, but after having her tow me several hundred feet, my wife came around the corner of our point in her kayak. I told her to paddle back to the boat house and get the musky net. She brought it back and handed it to me, and I was able to net it. 46 and released it.

Sometimes you do the best when you are trying to do something else. That is what my golf pro tells me too.

Thought you would enjoy seeing what a kayak fisherman can do in the northwoods.


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Here's Tom with his 46" slab. What a fish!!

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Be sure to check out www.BestFishingBooks.com, Books and gifts for fishermen from my friend Jim Dicken!

Also, be sure to check out longislandkayakangler.blogspot.com, from my friend Pat Gallagher!

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