Thankful Outdoors: Summer is Coming Into Full Swing

OnFocus – Memorial Day weekend did not include any camping or fishing adventures for this guy. Instead, the weekend was spent doing some yard work and building ten sets of cornhole boards. League starts at Outer Limits Bar on June 8th. You will probably find me out there on occasion if fishing conditions are poor on Tuesday nights.

Yard work got a little too exciting as I had taken branches and scrap lumber thrown into the fire pit and decided to burn that material. As I mowed the lawn, I glanced up towards the house to see that dried leaves under the deck had caught fire. The garden hose was a tangled mess as I tried to stretch it from the front of the house to the back yard. Finally, after a couple of minutes of dosing the deck boards with water, the fire was put out. Remember all outdoor fire safety when having a campfire this year!

Kids are excited to be done with school and start summer vacation. I’m hoping that they find a desire to fish with friends. As a kid, I remember the summer vacation time, riding bike to the local Spring Lake, Cherokee Park, and the Boy Scout camp areas.

During these summer days, as I commute to work, memories of being a kid on summer break often come up. The days of taking the Zebco rod and reel combo, bread twist ties used to fasten the trusty fish catching combo to my ten-speed bike.

Some hooks, bobber, peanut butter sandwich, water, and the day were all set. My brothers, neighbors, and cousins would spend the next three months trying to catch anything with gills. Bikes were our vehicle of transportation. On occasion, Mom or Dad would drop us off at a lake with an inflatable boat that we would take turns fishing from the little two-person craft.

As kids, we talked about dreams of growing up, buying a house, boat, truck, and fishing. Now that I have reached that point in life, I find myself thinking back to a carefree and simple life. No stress of being a parent, paying bills, trying to find success in a career. A 10-speed bike, Zebco rod, and some bobbers sure look good some days!

June kicks off Dairy Month, and my diet certainly does need a special month to celebrate the dairy industry. Of course, milk, cheese, cheese curds, and ice cream are a staple in this central Wisconsin native’s diet. But, how many kids have taken a piece of cheese, gobbed it on a hook, tried to catch a fish! I know this guy has tried that a few times in his early fishing career.

The boys and I did get a chance to get out fishing this week; they chuckled as I sent them a text message Tuesday afternoon letting them know that we were going to Delcore Lake. They googled the map, and Connor says, “Wow, we are not heading north for fishing!” Yes, my boys have become accustomed to always heading north for fishing adventures.

I had fished Delcore Lake once, and I wasn’t the one who drove on that trip, so my memory of turning off highway 54 wasn’t very clear. I was relying on Google Maps to lead us to our destination. Our evening turned into an adventure; Google Maps will lead you to a private drive road. It took us over an hour to locate the right dead-end road that had the boat landing for the lake.  We were driving down single-track roads that were sandy and used more for ATV/UTV trails than vehicle travel; we had to turn our rig around a few times because signs were posted that said no car/truck travel allowed.

With the lake finally found, we unloaded, and fishing activities began. It didn’t take us too long to boat the first fish. We caught several small panfish throughout the evening. Bryce was top fisherman by landing a 16-inch largemouth bass. Catching fish of that size on ultra-light gear (Elk River Crappie rod with 4lb test) is always a good time.

As the sun was setting, a pair of trumpeter swans swam along the lake edge, and our evening was soon over. The night was a short trip on the water, but I sure made memories of this outing on finding the lake.

This Saturday and Sunday (June 5th and 6th) is a free fishing weekend here in Wisconsin. It’s a great weekend to get out and enjoy the outdoors; license requirements are waived this weekend, along with the free access to State Parks!

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Scott Hopperdietzel
Author: Scott Hopperdietzel

Scott Hopperdietzel is the creator of an outdoor blog named Thankful Outdoors. He shares his passion for the outdoors with readers. The focus of the blog is to “Celebrate the Experience” in his stories; you feel what the connection to the outdoors means to him. His goal is to inspire others to get into the outdoors and create their own experience. Along with writing, he is a father to three boys who are often part of the adventures along with the family Weimaraner, Boone. You can find his writings on the website or follow his social media platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.