But I Digress

Blog calendar: Aug. 23 | Aug. 18 | Aug. 12 | July 28

posted Aug. 23

Doggone it, Ish's frog only unsinkable

Ish Monroe markets his Phat Frog to be unsinkable, not to catch coyotes.

Yes, an angler from Holmen, Wis. -- pop. 8,487, sal-ute! -- was fishing near Goose Island when a coyote jumped from the grass into the Mississippi River slough, ate the Purple Kush frog and got hooked.

Not wanting to lose his new $9 lure nor injure the coyote any further, Bruce Chandler trolled away from the weeds and called his partner to come help. The sound dog became rather "submissive" but they were still worried about it snapping at them as they attempted to unhook it.

A pair of pliers and the hook came out of the coyote's lip rather easily. They did take a cell phone shot of the situation, and the poor thing certainly has a lost look.

The played-out pooch was pushed to shore, where they reported it shook itself off and rested a moment before walking off.

Check out Bob Lamb's story in the LaCrosseTribune.com.

The episode reminds me of comedian Gary Shandling's bit on his father landing a seagull. Mocking his father with arms raised to fight a bird in flight, Gary tells his pop to cut the line, to which his dad replies, "But it's a good one."

In Islamorada, Fla., going after sailfish with Skye Stanley, we inadvertently hooked a seagull dive-bombing the spread, and first mate Daniel Attales reeled it in and unhooked it. The discombobulated bird lay on the deck for a moment before gaining its bearings and flying off.

Must happen all the time. Some captains actually bring bottlerockets aboard to scare off birds circling their spread.

Ish's Phat Frog is hailed for having separate chambers for the hooks so it doesn't fill with water and have to be fiddled with to keep it afloat, but doggone it, no anti-coyote device as of yet.

posted Aug. 18

Kolo should be all a go-go for world record book

The Guiness Book of World Records has the most miles run by one man in a 24-hour period at 160, or about six marathons.

More than 1 million pounds is the record weight one man hoisted in a 24-hour, squat-lifting marathon.

The most fish caught in 24 hours? It's an obscene number as well.

Jeff "Kolo" Kolodzinski, already known as the Marathon Man, sat on the dock at Maynard's on Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka last weekend pulling in bluegill after bluegill. At a clip of 1.5 fish per minute — you doing the math? — Kolo rewrote his own record of 1,628 set two years ago.

Using a cane pole, tiny hooks and a competitive fishing chair with easy access to his baits, Kolo hauled in 2,160 fish. After failure last year because storms kept him off the water during prime fishing time, he might finally receive his place in the Guinness Book.

He made sure this time the standards necessary for inclusion in the book were met.

"Let me see ... We had to have two individual fish counters with unique tally sheets. Literally, a trained timekeeper had to be on hand," he said. "There needed to be two minutes of video evidence for each hour during the 24 hours. Sworn affidavits were required. We even brought in a witness from the Minnesota DNR to check my p's and q's."

Adding to the hoopla, the crowd and coverage was way up, and so were donations to Fishing For Life, the event sponsor. With perfect conditions, the vice president of marketing for Frabill couldn't have been happier.

"I'm 40 years old, and today I'm about 2 and half," Kolo said. "I grew up catching bluegill like this with my uncle Jim some 35-odd years ago. I will never, ever outgrow bluegill fishing. It's the way that I started fishing and all these kids up and down the dock the last two days, that's how they're starting fishing."

Kolo's not-so-little stunt — he did land eight muskie — was to benefit the non-profit organization dedicated to serving youth through organized fishing programs.

"Our goal at Fishing for Life is to make sure that kids get a good road to follow, great mentors and the opportunity to go out and enjoy the outdoor resources, and catch fish," he said. "I'm really, really happy about the record but really more blessed to help support a really cool group."

To learn more about Fishing For Life (FFL) or to donate, go to its web site.

posted Aug. 12

Toe-eating dog hailed as lifesaver

Yeah, dogs eat gross stuff. You know. You've smelled your dog's breath.

But sometimes there's a reason.

Jerry Douthett couldn't eschew why his dog Kiko chewed off his big toe.

Yes, the dog ate the Rockford, Mich., man's toe, which was festering with infection. Douthett's subsequent trip to the hospital showed he was suffering from Type 2 diabetes and had dangerously high blood-sugar levels.

Doctors finished what Kiko started, amputating the rest of his toe as infection was to the bone.

The dog is being heralded as helping save his life.

The question remains how he didn't notice the terrier gnawing off his digit beyond the nail line -- he was passed out drunk. A doctor did say nerve damage contributed to Douthett awakening to a pool of blood, sans toe.

"A normal person, even consuming that much alcohol, probably would have awakened much earlier," said Dr. Russell Lampen, who puts the incident down as an "extreme oddity."

While the parties hope the incident brings some light to uncontrolled diabetes, Douthett is not alone. The same thing happened two years ago to Linda Floyd, a 56-year-old diabetic from Illinois, although it was a miniature dachshund, Roscoe, that gnawed off her right big toe.

That dog was put down, and Douthett thought about it before throwing caution, well some caution, to the wind.

"I don't think Kiko would do it again," he told mlive.com for this story, "but I wear shoes to bed now."

posted July 28

Rare gator feeding frenzy caught on tape

You've got the Swallows of Capistrano, the Monarch migration in Mexico and now the Georgia Gators.

No, not football. And yes, Georgia.

Ray Cason has them on tape.

Cason was heading out fishing in Clinch County when he came a sight rarely seen — an alligator "feeding frenzy."

Cason taped what he estimated to be about 300 alligators swarming an area in the Okefenokee Swamp park, a national wildlife refuge. It's known for having gators, but what he videod was amazing.

On his small alumnum boat at 6:30 a.m., he came upon an area where the alligators were swarming, apparently because of low water and plenty of food.

Jerry Waters of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said even workers at the park have never seen such an unbelievable encounter.

"I aint never seen so many gators in my entire life," he said on tape.

Although a little fearful of the situation, Cason had the wits to video the sight as he cautiously worked his way through gators.

Check out the story and video here.

About the author: Mike Suchan has been editor at ESPNOutdoors.com the past three years. He's worked in journalism for 25 years, winning state and regional awards. Email him here.