Fishing With the Sand Dunes

I’ve been going through some fishing withdrawal lately as I wait for the snow to melt. So I thought that I’d share this post with you today. Who’s up for an early spring? 🙂

My Dad-In-Law happened to be on a scenic evening drive when he snapped this picture with his phone. That’s me out there. It was this past November 1st and the weather was unseasonably warm for Michigan (around 70 degrees).

That day, after a grueling day of writing, the Indian-summer weather proved to be too much for me. I took the short drive to Silver Lake, near Mears, Michigan, to give fishing a shot. I’ve lost track of all the lakes, rivers and creeks that I’ve fished over the years. But one thing is for sure. I’ve never visited another body of water that’s anything like Silver Lake.

The bottom of it is made entirely of sand with the occasional aquatic weed or lost boat anchor. On the shallow side of the lake, you can walk out several hundred feet and only be up to your waist.

I like to venture out to the first drop off occasionally and see if anything’s hungry. Usually something’s interested. Most commonly, the takers are largemouth bass and walleye, with the occasional yellow perch, bluegill or carp. I hear there are northern pike in the lake, too, though I’ve never caught one out of there.

Sand dunes line the opposite side of Silver, some up to 300-feet tall and the bank drops off quickly to form the deepest part of the lake. The 690-acre lake has a maximum depth of only 26 feet but that doesn’t hurt the fishing any. I like walking the dunes with my kids and fishing off the deep side in the summer. We’ve made some nice catches over there and that seems to be where the big smallmouth bass like to cruise.

If you were to take the long, exhausting yet beautiful trudge over the sand dunes and sparse forests from Silver Lake for about a half hour or so, you’d end up at the stunning beachscape of Lake Michigan. On a sunny day, the aqua-blue waters look like something out of the Caribbean instead of the northland.

My Fish Story

So, there I was on November 1st at the drop off with a small but forgivable leak in the right leg of my chest waders. Only two minutes into my trip, I hooked into a fish using a night crawler. I don’t know what kind it was but I fought it for about a minute and couldn’t make much headway. It didn’t furiously peel off line like a carp which made me think it was possibly a bruiser walleye. Perhaps, it was just a snapping turtle. I don’t know because the hook came loose before I could find out. It was BIG, whatever it was.

Daylight soon began waning and a perfect sunset followed. That’s when this picture was taken. Just before dark, I tied on a Rapala Countdown (weighted minnow lure) for a last-ditch attempt at a fish. With the final splash of fire in the sky, I got a taker. Wham! The drag worked its magic and I landed a 17’’ largemouth. He was just perfect for lunch the next day for me, my wife and two boys (ages 2 and 3). My two-year old ate the most!

I fished 20 more minutes in the darkness before leaving and caught nothing else. Some guys I know fish mostly in the dark with Rapalas. They say that this is when the walleyes come into the shallows to feed. They walk out to the drop off even into December and fish this way in the darkness if the ice hasn’t formed yet. For me, I just can’t get into night stalking for very long.

Heaven And the End of Earth’s Dark Secret

That evening, the winds died down to nearly nothing and the sky looked like a pastel masterpiece. For about 15 minutes, the world seemed more like another. One that I almost felt familiar with though I’ve never seen. In that world, you don’t need to snap a picture to prove that you saw something worth sharing. It’s always beautiful there and every moment is as good as the next. No. Better.

I felt honored to get a glimpse of it and, at the same time, awkward. After all, my surroundings seemed flawless but flawless I definitely am not. At least not yet. And the world I live in can often be harsh, cruel and unforgiving.

And then it was gone. The darkness crept in, snuffing out the dazzling colors and serene scene. The air turned cold and eerie howls of coyotes shot across the lake to my ears with bell-like clarity. The sound made me shiver and made me glad that I wasn’t out on the dunes alone in the dark. Not that I’d become dinner or anything. It just wouldn’t be pleasant!

It reminded me that the world we live in must be under siege for a little longer by darker forces than we understand. It’s been that way for millennia. But every year is one year closer to the curse and dark-world system being overthrown for good.

Checking Off the Days

We wait patiently for a God who sometimes seems indifferent to human suffering. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. He knows the day and minute that evil will be silenced forever.

God is more eager than we are for that day to come. He understands far better than we do that the present gloom will make its coming all the more wonderful.

Ever check the days off your calendar in hopeful anticipation of a life event? Maybe you longingly waited for warm weather, a vacation, or the chance to be with someone you loved. Your anticipation built as the day drew closer.

God’s excitement grows as He checks the days off his calendar for the perfect ending. More accurately, He plans for the perfect beginning. He knows that there’ll be no comparison to that day. Our God knows that it’s coming soon and that all of our struggles will be worth it.