The Herald Bulletin

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Sports Columns

January 15, 2014

Rick Bramwell: A bad pond turns good

Necessity was the mother of invention when I did not have the right ingredients for a snowed-in pecan pie. It also served me well on a recent ice-fishing trip.

Last Thursday, Bob May and I fished an interstate pond that used to be good. However, the last two years it has been fished very little, the result: stunted bluegill. We pulled up and headed for an 18-acre lake in northern Madison County.

There was almost too much ice, about 12 inches. Drilling holes was a real calorie burner, and we drilled a lot of holes because the fish weren't biting. After two hours we gave up. On the way off the ice, some locals gave us a better idea of where to fish this deep pit.

"The bluegill in here are huge, you just have to find them," said one elderly gent.

Our plan Friday morning was to give the big pit another try, this time with Don Zalorcar and his gas-powered auger.

I have a regular routine each morning of fixing coffee, a protein shake, whole grain toast with honey/cinnamon and using the bathroom. I allowed time for this, but then Bob called to tell me we were meeting a half-hour sooner than we earlier agreed on.

Knowing I would feel the call of nature in the middle of a pit with houses around it, I devised a plan. I suggested we stop by this small lake on the way. A friend had the only waterfront home. I directed my two friends to go check the ice while I used the bathroom.

The ruse was that this pond does not freeze well because of active springs, and I had never done much good on bluegill in the times I fished it.

After using the bathroom, I went out back to see Bob and Don out on the ice.

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