Panfish Paradise

Posted 3/16/22

Hello friends, This past week I headed up to Sawyer County to fish a lake near Birchwood with three good friends and laugh a lot. Besides the fact that we had a ton of adversity we had a blast and …

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Panfish Paradise


Hello friends, This past week I headed up to Sawyer County to fish a lake near Birchwood with three good friends and laugh a lot. Besides the fact that we had a ton of adversity we had a blast and caught some very pretty perch and crappie.

Friday, March 4th High 32, low 28 For those that are not aware of this fact, this winter there is a lot of ice on the northern tier bodies of water and in the northern parts of Wisconsin on up, there is a lot of snow. The snow part would be the first part of this trips adversity and it had the potential to be a real, big deal.

Paul Bucher who is the publisher of The Cumberland Advocate was on the lake that we would be staying on this weekend at sunrise this morning and deep snow and slush was making truck and atv travel impossible. I was driving on highway 53 when I got the call from Paul and I did not have my snowmobile, neither did Ryan Ransom of Black River Falls or Preston Johnson of Rice Lake.

I had a brainstorm and called my newest friend, Dar- ren Skar who is the owner of Bay Vue Resort where we had a cabin rented. Darren did us a major favor when he found us a Polaris 600 snow machine and our problems kind of took a break.

So, we are staying at Bay Vue Resort for the first time and are more than impressed but have to travel exactly 2.1 miles on the ice/snow/slush to get to our honey hole. At first I’m the driver, our sled set up is limited and I make three trips, each one with a comrade and gear .

The first trip is with Paul and gear, the second is with Preston and gear and when I arrive with Preston, Paul has three jumbo perch in his bucket (p.s. good buddies of Preston’s, ask him where the beer, gas and minnows went?) Last but not least was that Ryan and I were super excited to start fishing. We had a shack to set up that would fit four and first I put out two tip downs and a Finicky Fooler which I just purchased after seeing it catch the heck out of fish the week – end before on the Mississippi. On each of my rigs I put a #14 treble hook, a bead, small split shot, and a crappie minnow. I would have used Rosey’s but could not find any.

So, the four of us had about three hours of daylight and the perch catching is slow but steady and they are 9-12-inches. Towards dark we all headed into the shack where we had holes drilled and a propane lantern. We kind of thought we were too shallow for crappie, but we really started giggling, for various reasons, when Paul’s slip bobber vanished, and he caught an 11-inch crappie. Our evening changed from cabin time to shack time and when we made it back to the cabin at 10:30 we had a pile of crappie and perch and four good friends that only see each other once a year had more laughs than most people have in a month.

Back at the cabin I was heating up a pork roast dinner that I had premade, these guys were hungry enough to eat bark off a tree and Paul cut up a stick of bear sausage that was made at Louie's Finer Meats in Cum berland. We all agreed it was the best sausage of any type that any of us ever had in our life.

We hit the rack about midnight and that is when the storm began.

Saturday, March 5th High 32, low 27 The ice storm that hit this part of Wisconsin is one that very few people will forget soon. Simply walking, espe cially on anything with an angle was almost a no chance type of deal.

Here is a funny story. Perhaps in the cloud of darkness last night when we made our journey back to the cabin, someone may have accidentally not realized that they had left a tip down out. If this happened, it honestly was a mistake. A great laugh was had by everyone when that someone caught his or her biggest perch of the trip in that manner. I am not lying when I say that the fish catching was very steady for dandy panfish, and Mr. Paul Bucher even caught a 20-inch walleye on his jig pole.

We came up with a method to put me in an Otter Sled and that saved us trips as we were running low on gas, beer, and minnows “Preston”.

This mission has been taking place for a good 15-years, we always catch fish, eat well and most importantly peg out the fun meter.

Think outside the box!