Posted 5/25/22

OUTDOOR Adventures Fishing in the Dark The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has made a career singing about “Fishing in The Dark.” Until recently, I had never actually fished in the dark, but thanks to …

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OUTDOOR Adventures

Fishing in the Dark

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has made a career singing about “Fishing in The Dark.” Until recently, I had never actually fished in the dark, but thanks to Captain Cody Klaus, owner, and founder of “Playin Hooky Guide Services,” this is something that can now be crossed off my bucket list. For the record, we were not fishing in the traditional manner nor were we chasing trophy gamefish. We were bowfishing for Carp and other rough fish such as Buffalo Fish, Dogfish, Sheephead and Suckers… and we were successful.

I have known Cody for several years and have always been impressed with the way he treats others. The level of respect and genuine care he has for his fellow human beings has been evident from the day we met. Combining his love for the outdoors (fishing, in specific) and serving others led to the launch of his guide service. Bowfishing and chasing the Grand-Daddy of game fish; the Muskellunge (Muskies), are the two areas of expertise that Playin’ Hooky offers. “We want to provide the best possible experience for our clients,” Klaus explained as we departed for our excursion on Lake Byllesby, just outside of Cannon Falls, Minnesota. “The energy and excitement that comes from bowfishing or catching a Musky for that matter cannot be explained, it can only be experienced,” he added.

Flanked by my best hunting and fishing buddy Terry, we headed off the landing a little after 8:30 in the evening. The water was calm, the sun was going down and there was a definite chill in the air. Neither of us outdoor “veterans” had ever been bowfishing before. Combined, we have 108 years of life under the belts and have spent plenty of time chasing wild game, fish and making up stories about the ones that got away. To say that we were both a bit giddy with anticipation is a bit of an understatement. Thank goodness, Captain Cody, nearly 30 years our junior, has more than a little experience when it comes to chasing carp and other species with the bow. Chasing is exactly the strategy that was employed in finding fish. “Watch for the ‘V’s on the water,” he said. “That is the fish swimming away from the boat and we will push them to an area that will provide opportunity for a shot.” He also explained to watch for “clouds” of mud where they fish would stir up the bottom as they tried to escape. Soon, there were “V’s” everywhere and clouds galore. The energy level in the boat was increasingly noticeable and it was evident by Cody’s reactions that guiding truly is a passion for him. “This never gets old,” he said several times when the fish were moving.

All I can say is WOW… THAT WAS FUN… maybe not for the fish, but at least for us. It took a bit of time to figure out where to aim (there are no sites when shooting a bowfishing rig) but we got it figured out under Captain Cody’s guidance. I was fortunate enough to harvest the first fish; a 13-pound Buffalo Fish and while we did not keep track, I think Terry may have taken one more than I did. I earned the bragging rights for the longest shot which we estimated well over 20 yards. It has been said that “Success is measured in different ways.” While we bagged our share of rough fish, that will be put to good use as fertilizer, the level of laughs and camaraderie made up for the occasional (maybe a bit more than occasional) missed shots that were launched.

“This could get addicting,” Terry said as we headed back towards the landing. I looked at the time on my phone and noted that it was closing in on 12:30 in the morning. It seemed like we had only been out there for an hour or so. I guess time really does fly when you are having fun, and we had a lot of fun. If you have ever thought about bowfishing, I highly recommend that you check out Playin’ Hooky Guide Service at www.playinhookyguideservice. com or give Cody a call at 651.829.9337. His boat, which is completely decked out with all the equipment, lighting, safety devices and other needs to give bowfishing a shot (yes, I did that on purpose), can seat up to four people for an outing. I am quite sure this will not be the last time I hit the water with Cody because, as Terry said, “This could get addicting.” Maybe I will have to try my hand at catching one of those St. Croix River MUSKIES that I hear so much about. Now, “Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.”