Ruby’s pups are all at their new homes, and in the process, I have made several new friends. Dean and Marilee Bornemann are from Stockbridge, which is located in Calumet County, on the east shore of Lake Winnebago, as well as their son Max and daughter Hailey, who are both in their 20s.
The Bornemann’s have read this column in The Glidden Enterprise for the last 25 years and were really into getting a pup.
The whole family came along to pick out Finn, and when they did, they invited me to spear sturgeon and socialize with them, which is what this week’s column is about.
Friday, Feb, 8
High 4, low minus-14
My truck was as full of camping and spearing gear as it could be when I hit the ice at the Harbor Bar landing, just west of Stockbridge. I had plenty on my mind and the main thing was how was I going to get my Eskimo Fat Shack up in what was truly an insane wind.
The first job was getting a hole cut in the ice, which was 5 feet by about 30 inches. I paid a very reliable crew $20 to do that.
Next, along with my new friend Dean, his brother Kevin and family friend Bob Javenkowski, we had to put up my 14-foot cabin on the ice. Really bad luck came my way when unloading a 6-foot piece of aluminum siding, the wind caught it and it landed on my right temple. I could not let my new buds know I was hurting, but I was, and three days later I had a black eye.
My comrades and I got the task done and then headed over to the spearing shack that Dean and Hailey would be using the next morning for a social experience. By the time I walked back to my cabin on the ice, I had me some new buddies.
Saturday, Feb, 9
High 21, low minus-12
I was up at 5 a.m. as I had to tarp my shack and get ready to harpoon a state-record sturgeon. I think I heard that there were 12,500 licensed spearers on Winnebago, and it was crazy to watch the headlights as everyone hit the ice.
I have to be honest, the facts are that I kind of stink at sturgeon spearing, but I really like to do it.
So far I have speared one sturgeon, and that was about 10 years ago. I put the sheet of steel that had hit me in the head earlier, 15 feet below my hole, and like 12,500 other people, I waited for something to happen.
At 8 a.m. I had to take care of a little business outside and I saw a gal about 200 yards away with a good-looking sturgeon. I walked over and introduced myself and took a picture of Karen Propson, who lives at School Hill, which is near Sheboygan, with a beautiful sturgeon.
Spearing ends each day at 1 p.m. and today we had us a shinding on the ice at my shack. Kevin Bornemann had marinated venison steaks and wrapped bacon on the outside of each one. That may have been the best meat I have ever eaten. Amber Kornack had cooked up some Jack Daniels cup cakes which are guaranteed to make you really smart.
Hailey’s boyfriend Mark Dilling and his brother Matthew came out on ATVs, and it was just a really cool experience on the ice. Later we headed to the Harbor Bar, which had a tent set up with live bands, and we had a blast listening to the Bobby Evans Band. These guys are out of Beaver Dam, and if I had the cash, I would hire them for Selina’s graduation party.
After dark, Hailey, who was our designated driver, took me back to my shack with a UTV, and this young lady amazed me. Even though my shack was 1.5 miles away, she found it without a flaw.
This girl is so observant, she even saw me kind of fall on the ice, which gave me some more new injuries.
On Sunday I was up early, like just about everyone else, and I really had high hopes, but like I said, I stink at sturgeon spearing. I did manage to harvest a mouse that has been living in my truck since last fall, and after saying goodbye to everyone, was honored with a wonderful drive home in another snow storm.
I shall return!