"What on God's green earth inspires you to crank out another fresh steaming pile of WW&W every week?" asked a regular reader in this week's email.
It takes discipline, like Catholics used to have when it came to no meat on Fridays. I've never been Catholic and they've long since changed their dietetic dogma on that, but I'm still a big fan of Friday night fish fries.
I don't do it alone. The internet has its world wide web www, I've got my woods, water & worse www, a network of rogue correspondents who help me fill in the blanks, look good, and create the illusion that I know what I'm talking about.
In the wake of the tsunami of friendly feedback on last week's column, I'm gonna mine the same vein with far-flung field reports and more real quotes from fictional correspondents across the U.P. and the nation.
"That shouldn't take longer than a yiffy, yust the right length for your reader's attention span," smiled WW&W wildlife correspondent and fishinista Paris Hiltunen, catching keeper walleye and smallmouth on Mimic Minnows from her float tube with WW&W inland lake correspondent Fanny Hooe.
"No trip home from Copper Harbor is complete without a wet-your-whistle stop at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge," she added, changing out of her itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini, float tube and flippers into her equally yellow cotton eyelet sundress and matching heels for the gala introduction of her new line of open-toe high heel flip-flops at the Lodge.
In case you're wondering whatever became of my hot pursuit of the fact-free column, it got put on the back burner for awhile, but now I'm back on the case and you're right in the midst of it.
"The whole Iron County watershed is enjoying a hot bite," said WW&W river correspondent Crystal Falls who frequently fishes with WW&W border reporter Florence Wisconsin. "The smallies and browns are both snapping like turtles on different sections of the Net and Paint Rivers, and don't overlook their tributaries like the Hemlock that flows through downtown Amasa."
"Call me old fashioned, but you can't beat a hunka crawler or a garden hackle for feeding brookies," said WW&W trout stream correspondent Brookie Shields over a cold one at the Gay Bar after wading the sandstone shelves of the Tobacco River. "But when they're in the mood for bling, they can't resist the flash of a small Panther Martin or Mepps spinner," she added authoritatively.
WW&W navigation correspondents Otto Pilot and Ray Dar report flat seas to Isle Royale with a ferocious bite on remote reefs like Gull Rocks, Canoe Rock and Superior Shoals. "We caught lunker lakers and salmon trolling Husky Jerks and Reef Runners over the toppa the reef in 10 feeta water," he tipped, "then when the bottom drops off to 150 feet, you grab your gebbu and go mining for trophies with a Swedish Pimple tipped with cutbait."
Rumors of a rare freshwater halibut allegedly caught in Lake Superior remained unconfirmed at press time, according to WW&W mystery correspondent Red Herring.
"We caught lotsa big lake trout mixed with coho 10 miles out and from 20 to 60 feet down, but we hadda spoon-feed 'em," reports Captain Jimmy Johnson, Jolly Roger Charters, 906-932-5196, Black River Harbor northa Ironwood. "Most fish 10-15 pounds were at 20 feet, and bigger 15-18 pounders at 40-50 feet were nailing small No. 1 gold Finn Spoons, but our biggest fish, a 42-inch, 27-pound laker, gobbled a No. 7 silver at 60 feet."
Meanwhile on the totally opposite far eastern enda the U.P., WW&W Canadian border reporter Sue Ste. Marie, who fishes the St. Mary's River with Sugar Island Ann, reminds boaters and anglers not familiar with the river to run fast only in the main shipping channel as the water is low with numerous hazardous shallows and rock pile reefs from dredging. "Big 18- to 20-inch, 4- to 5-pound smallmouth are pounding live and Gulp crawlers and minnows off the mouth of Sailor Crick," she tipped.
"The sheepshead are biting til the cows come home and chomping on fiddler crabs all around Tampa Bay," said WW&W saltwater correspondent Jack Crevalle, fishing Coffee Pot Bayou with WW&W beach correspondent Sara Sota.
"While you're tip-toeing through the tulips along your favorite brookie crick, be careful not to step on the trout lilies," cautions WW&W Keweenaw wildflower correspondent Arbutus Peterson.
Jim can be reached 24/7/365 at jjunttila@ chartermi.net.