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Tunnel Vision

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I spent half of my summers here as a youth. This place has many walleye and northern. Some in the extra large sizes.

Many of us have a love affair with one particular species of fish. No matter your roots in fishing you tend to migrate towards one species. I too did exactly this. I am a "Trout Junky" and eat and drink and talk trout. I have become almost fixated on trout and all that revolves around it. This was not always the case. I had other loves of the outdoors before my tunnel vision hit me about 15 years ago.

Back in the day you would find at the local dam on the Kickapoo River about half of the week chasing Northerns and Walleye. The rest of the week was set aside for trout. The days for northerns and walleye got fewer and fewer. A couple falls ago I took up steelhead fishing. This was the time I typically spent chasing northerns and eyes on the Kickapoo and the Mississippi. The year 2011 ended and I looked at my log books and I had not fished for pike or walleye a single time that year.

I live in Richland Center and the Wisconsin River is less than a half an hour away. The Mississippi River is less than an hour away. During this last cold winter I was scratching my head and questioning why I had not chased some big pike in 2011. I went every Wednesday to my mother's and she lives right on the Kickapoo River and I ignored the eyes and pike and chased after those alluring trout.

One wednesday when I visited my mother in Gays Mills, I went down to the dam in Gays Mills. I spent many a day there below that dam in my youth. I stepped out or measured from my house to the Kickapoo River once when I was a young pup. It was exactly 33 steps from door to river. The season was closed so I just stood there and watched the water for a while. It was cold and the carp schooled up below the dam on the west side. There was a minimum of 600 carp in all sizes there all schooled up. All of a sudden there was a parting of the carp. They all swam away frantically. My eyes fixed on the water. There it came. A giant of a Northern Pike with a small carp in its mouth sideways. This pike went middle to high 40s in length. It was gone as quickly as it parted the carp. I smiled and remembered days past fishing exactly where I stood.

I made a promise to myself on New Years 2012 that I would knock off the dust on my pike/walleye rod and restock my lures for those toothy fish I had forgotten for an entire year. I made a good contact over the winter with a pro on the FLW Tour and he invited me to go pike and northern fishing with him in 2012. I looked at my tackle box and it looked really devoid of any "gator" lures. The walleye lures were still in there. I jumped online and went to some forums that had active pike and walleye threads. I was astounded when I read some of threads and had not even heard of some of the "go to" lures for pike.

Today I drove to Prairie Du Chien and went to the Cabelas there. It seemed odd walking in there and not walking directly to the trout area. I shopped for 2 hours. This is about double the time I typical spend in there. I dropped over 300 dollars in there and none of my bags had a single trout related item in them. There were chatters in there in two sizes. There was a sexy shad or two in there along with a new "Diamond" spoon I had never seen before. There were the old reliable lures in the bags too. Stout wire leaders were in the mix also. Some braided super line also was in there. The lures in the walleye section also called my name and I left with some rapalas and thundersticks. I even bought a large minnow bucket for suckers along with some BIG red and white bobbers. The last stop at Cabelas was at the fancy electric filleting knives.

Don't get me wrong, I am not hanging up the trout fishing. I am just diversifying my fishing opportunities. I hope to have a couple new photos to share soon. Oh....not trout photos but pike. The tunnel vision is gone. Cabelas had no "small carp" lures but I will see if what I have works.


A Kickapoo River dandy caught on a black fury.

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