Dimich Outdoors Article: “Dog days” and “bigger boats”

“Dog days” and “bigger boats”

By Nik Dimich

Quite a combination for a title, huh? Kind of like putting Oreo cookies in a mustard/baloney sandwich on white bread, isn’t it? That sounds pretty bizarre, but trust me, mixing strange things sometimes turns out pretty neat.

Take Jackson Browne’s classic rock song “The Load-Out,” for example. The first part of the song (actually a separate song) was meant as a fitting tribute to his “roadies.” Then in 1978, when he decided to close his concerts with the song, he also wanted to thank his fans, so he added his cover of “Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs” 1959 song, “Stay Just a Little Bit Longer.” The result was a song that, as one fan put it, “…makes you happy every time you hear it.”

Moreover, as long as I am cruising the classic rock scene, consider “Queen’s” masterpiece “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a combination of several songs the musical genius Freddie Mercury had written. Unheard of at the time, Freddie wrote the song in six sections: introduction, ballad, guitar solo, opera, hard rock and finale. Many people said radio stations would never play a six-minute song, but they did and they still do.

Anyhow, the “dog days” are here, and as they always do, they replace the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” with some sweltering humidity and cover some of our local lakes with a green-up. And, if you think we have a problem, research Lake of the Woods, some of its bays are the kings of the green and the smell can get downright nasty.

Just to sidebar a bit as this time of year gets a bit “iffy” for fishing and fishing info, this weekend’s dates of August 9th and 10th are noteworthy. For example, on the 221st and 222nd days of the year research tells me that television’s “Candid Camera” (8/10/1948) first appeared and “Agent Orange” was first used in Vietnam in 1961. In 1974 on August 9, President Nixon resigned over “Watergate” and on August 10, 1940 Bobby Hatfield of “The Righteous Brothers” was born. And yes, it is true Bill Medley and he chose their name after performing as members of the band “The Paramours” in 1962 when a U.S. Marine shouted after a song, “That was righteous, brothers!” Some stuff you just can’t make up.

The “green-up” phenomenon actually goes back in antiquity as the Romans linked these sultry days to the star “Sirius,” the largest star in the constellation “Canis Major” (large dog and word “canine”), they may even have sacrificed a red dog to appease the rage of “Sirius,” as they believed the star was responsible for the hot, sultry, sometimes drought-causing weather. The senior member of Dimich Outdoors, my dad, commented that there was a possibility that too many “Salty Dogs” during Roman “sundial happy hour” might have affected this issue.

To find out more on the “bloom,” go to the MN DNR website and check out the dangers regarding pets and humans and the very real “swimmers’ itch.” This so-called “swimmer’s itch” is something our family went through after swimming in Big Winnie during the blooms. In time, our parents, who always told us “a little mold or green here or there wouldn’t hurt us, to walk it off, etc.,” when we were kids, actually found out that showers and hard toweling with a moderately coarse towel worked wonders.

So, how does this thick green pea soup type of cover smother actually affect fishing? To give you an example, when Dimich Outdoors was having coffee at Bowen Lodge just before a trip with a great regular customer, Doug Nimz and his son Jack and Jack’s friend Mike, all of Blue Earth, MN, and the subject of “green-up” came up, Bowen Lodge owner Bill Heig summed it up quite nicely as he compared the green bloom to a roof, saying it was basically a shelter that stops the bright sun and provides protection for minnows and other forage and consequently, of course, the light sensitive walleyes.

According to Bill, the “green smother” is but an incredible part of the fish/forage paradigm and just another piece of the fishing puzzle. We agree, if catching fish was easy and predictable, there wouldn’t be any fish left, just like the great buffalo (bison).

So, how about “bigger boats”? To begin, the people who fish with us are very colorful. From families to “mancation” guys (guys on vacation) to corporations with reps and customers, Dimich Outdoors is fortunate to fish with very nice and interesting people. When the waves get wild many customers reference “Jaws” and “You’re going to need a bigger boat,” a movie line by the way that was adlibbed by Roy Scheider (“Chief Brody”) as he was not told of the mechanical shark before the scene and it scared him so much he forgot his line and uttered the famous line instinctively.

Also during these outings, various sayings from a range of sources are presented. “Seinfeld” leads the list. From “Seinfeld” we get things like “No fish for you!” (Soup Nazi) and “reeling in the marble rye” and when someone is “under the weather,” Jackie Chiles’, “Your face is my case.” Then it’s on to Chevy Chase’s classic movie “Christmas Vacation” and Clark Sr.’s, “It’s a beaut, Clark” to the many “Cousin Eddie” quotes. As an interesting side note, a customer told me that little “Rusty,” Clark’s son, is now Dr. Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) on “The Big Bang Theory.”

Here at Dimich Outdoors, great quotes range from my dad’s to my brothers-in-laws’ Kirk Adams and Justin Harms and mine. Where we “young guns” might be into the “Caddyshack” and “Happy Gilmore” and “Star Wars” referents, my dad tends to go classic. Just think “Shane” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “Jaws,” etc., and you will get my drift.

And…speaking of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster movie “Jaws,” my dad’s favorite scene, the one my mother dreads when his satellite channel surfing finds the movie, is when Quint, played by Robert Shaw (according to my dad, the greatest short delivery in any movie, including Henry Fonda in “The Grapes of Wrath”), talks about the  “U.S.S. Indianapolis,” the ship that Quint said “delivered the bomb.” As another side-note, a former Navy customer told me that the “U.S.S” is not a mistake with an additional “S” tacked on, it means “United States Ship” and is only used when a ship is commissioned.

The movie is based on Peter Benchley’s bestseller “Jaws,” the action novel about a rogue great white shark terrorizing an East Coast (Long Island, New York) resort town, but the story is pure American history. In the film, Quint’s riveting story comes after a bit of drinking and telling of old romances in the “Orca,” Quint’s vessel (ironic as “orcas” are called “killer whales” and, excluding humans, the only predators of the great white shark).

After a question about his tattoo, Quint begins about the “U.S.S Indianapolis,” “A Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side…as we was comin’ back from the island of Tinian…just delivered the bomb, the Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water” (actually around 1,196, but around 300 men went down with the ship, leaving 900 in the water for five days). The date was also July 30, 1945, 14 minutes after midnight and not the July 29, 1945 the movie says, but close enough.

Quint recounts the five days spent in the water as sharks attacked and killed. When he ends with “Eleven hundred men went into the water, 316 men come out, sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb,” he was tragically right on. They actually did not deliver the entire “bomb,” but the major components as designed from the two billon dollar “Manhattan Project.”

The “bomb” they delivered was called “Little Boy” and it was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; “Fat Boy” was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Estimates vary, but over 200,000 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the bombings. Japan officially surrendered on August 15, 1945 (Germany had surrendered May 8, 1945). The official announcement of the sinking of the “U.S.S. Indianapolis” was announced right after as there was controversy over the sinking, but President Truman’s announcement of peace overshadowed it. The bombings put an end to America’s planned invasion of Japan called, “Operation Downfall.”

Well, so much for not much about fishing, but run spinners in the pea soup and get your bear bait and goose decoys ready and remember in August we lose nearly an hour and a half of daylight. Anyhow, thank you for staying with me “just a little bit longer.”

Nik Dimich is a year round Grand Rapids, MN and Lake Winnie area fishing guide and outdoor communicator. To book a trip or media event please contact him at 218-259-8459 or at www.DimichOutdoors.com and “like” Dimich Outdoors or Nik and Becca’s Outdoor Promotions on Facebook.


Photo Caption 1: Doug Nimz and his son Jack, of Blue Earth, MN, with nice crappies    caught during the "green up" while vacationing at Bowen Lodge.


Photo Caption 2: Steph Kent, of Princeton, MN, with a nice bowfin (dogfish) that sizzled line off her reel while fishing in the Grand Rapids area and visiting family.

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