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Friday, January 31, 2014

Peyton's Place

          As the whole world anticipates the kickoff to Sunday's Super Bowl, I have to ask myself if my Indiana fishing buddies, the majority of them fans of the Indianapolis Colts,  feel the same way.  Super Sunday is the biggest gambling day of the year. The office pool, strip cards, and that phone call to the brother in law who "knows a guy"  will give them reasons not to miss the game, but do they really  want to watch? Do they really want to witness their ex quarterback, a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer, show off his talents on what is arguably the biggest stage in the world? Their guy, the one who should be leading their Colts to their second World Championship, not the Denver Broncos. In March, 2012, the Indianapolis Colts, not feeling lucky, took a gamble and released Peyton Manning on speculation he would never play at a championship level ever again. Well, they lost.

          It's kind of like a boat I owned. I bought it brand new and it was everything I hoped it to be. I caught my first Musky and my biggest Musky in that boat. It gave me many years of flawless service. The one problem I had with the boat is that it was great for day in and day out fishing , but it couldn't compete with the bigger boats, in the big tournaments. Sure, I won a few outings  and even one big  tourney with it but most of the time it came up short. Then one summer evening, after fishing all day, my luck ran out. I fired up the engine and  went to shift it in reverse and got nothing. Put it back in forward and also nothing. A gear box full of neutral. After tearing it down, an inspection proved it needed a new output shaft and gears. The good news was the parts were still available, the bad news was the cost exceeded $1000.00. I opted to weld up  the old parts and have them machined. I did a really good job and I with a little luck it  would work just fine, but for how long? Long story short, I sold the boat at a discounted price, with full discloser of the "possible problems." I didn't want to let it go, but I did. I had mixed feelings about its future. I wanted the boat to go on and continue to service the new owner for years. On the other hand, since I let it go for next to nothing,  a part of me wanted it to blow up on the first trip out. One thing is for sure, it will always have a place in my heart.

          So, how do you guys/gals feel? Is there a place for Peyton in your heart? Do you want him to go out and win a tourney for his new owner or do you want to see him blow up?  The competition will be  tough and he may or may not win but I doubt he will implode. People say he has something to prove but I don't see it that way. I think he already has. The fact that in a time span of little over two and a half years he has rehabbed from not one but two neck surgeries and led a  new team with a new offense to the Super Bowl is more impressive than anything any other athlete has ever done. To my Indiana friends, I leave you with my condolences. I hope you can remember the good times and let go of all the things you think you have lost. Who knows, on Sunday, maybe you'll  have a little luck. Maybe you'll win a square or two, beat the bookie out of a few bucks, or  have the winning number in the "How many times he yells Omaha" pool. Then, if the Broncos win and Manning is named MVP, at least the money might help to soften the blow. They say it's better to be lucky than good, and if I were you guys, I wouldn't worry, you have Luck on your side. At least for now, until he is eligible for free agency.

Signed, Class of '79 D.D. Eisenhower H.S. "Fighting Cardinals" official tackling dummy,
Jim Welsh.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

They say we're young and we don't know..

          It's almost  here, the day we've all been waiting for. Soon we will know how many more miserable weeks of winter we will be subjected to.  On February 2nd it will be Groundhog's Day. The story goes, a couple hundred years ago in Pennsylvania, a bunch of drunken American- Germans stayed up all night drinking  beer and come morning, decided they could predict the weather by observing the behavior of  a marmot. If the rodent popped out of his hole and saw his shadow, he would crawl back in and there would be 6 more weeks of winter. I never understood this, it always seemed backwards to me. One would think that if he saw his shadow, it was sunny out and spring was just around the corner. But who am I to judge. I'm  glad my Irish Heritage doesn't have any silly traditions that involve staying up all night.

          And then there was the movie. You know the one where Bill Murray, an arrogant and egotistical weatherman, wakes up every morning and it's the same day, Groundhog's Day. Over and over, woken by  the same Sonny and Cher song on the radio, every day, the same thing. Musky fishing can be a lot like that movie. At times when I'm fishing I feel like I'm living the same day, over and over, with the same dismal results. Cast after cast, spot after spot, day in and day out.  I mean it's not always  the same. I change lures every now and then. Sometimes I even fish spots where  I've never caught fish before. In the movie, self centered Murray, stuck in a rut with no end in sight,  decides to change. He eventually  achieves self-improvement  by educating himself on a daily basis. Then one morning he wakes up and sure enough it's the next day, Feb 3rd. Huh, maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. I don't know.

          One thing we do know is Spring will eventually come. Maybe it'll come early or late, but it will come. With it brings the Ice Out Challunge. It might be held on Mar. 22nd. or Mar. 29th. We will just have to wait for that woodchuck to let us know. Either way, we will embrace the 2014 Musky season with open arms. Some of us may also embrace it with open minds. I know I will ...if I 'm not too hung over from St. Patrick's Day.

I got you, Babe,

Jim Welsh

Monday, January 27, 2014

Social media musky

The one thing that may be as hard to do as catching a Musky, is keeping those darn New Years resolutions. Here we are, four weeks into 2014, and I broke all of the one's I've made.Well it's not too late to make a 2014 resolution that will keep longer than your Grandmother's fruitcake. Resolve to fish more.  You have hundreds of dollars tied up in rods, reels and lures not to mention money spent on fishing shows, magazine subscriptions and club memberships. Let's make good use of all of it in '14. Sometimes I wonder why we don't get more members to participate in our fishing outingand tournaments. I know it's not always as easy as hooking up the boat and heading out to the lake. Work schedules, family issues and financial stress can all play a part in it. Sometimes the hang up can be the fact that you can't find a partner to fish with or someone to help launch the boat. Or maybe your boat is in the shop. A lot of times, many of us  end up fishing our outings alone, when a partner would be very helpful. This year, more so than any otherit is going to be easier to fish much more. Our website is now mobile friendly with links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Photobucket. Finding a partner with or without a boat is just a Tweet away. Facebook your friend or relative and invite them out to catch a Musky. You can follow other members posts and keep up on when the fish are biting. Social media helps us keep a finger on the pulse of our favorite pastime and hopefully inspire us to become more active in the sport we love. Participating in Club activities directly  raises money for stocking and improving "your" fisheries. Starting out with the Ice Out Challunge. Make plans to attend this year and help us get back the Trophy. If you need a partner or are looking for one, post it on our site. Who knows, you might make a great team. At worse you're out doing something you love, which beats sitting at home eating fruitcake.
Never say diet.
Jim Welsh    

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Welcome to Jim's Corner !!

Here it is !! A place to go to get inside the head of your pal Jim Welsh. 
Jim's well read sensibility shows in his writing savoir faire. He once wrote: “The writer’s job is not to judge, but to seek to understand.” That was either Welsh or Hemingway, I often get the two confused. 

So grab your Grandma and get ready,
Here's Jimmy !

- Bill Kopp

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