Tracy K. Lorenz / Outside Chance


Buck Barry

Kids today (by crackie!) are missing out when it comes to after school entertainment. Sure there’s Sponge Bob and Dora and a bunch of other cartoons that SCREAM AT YOU EVERY SECOND and promote liberal agendas but none of them are homegrown, none of them let you fantasize about actually appearing on the show, shows like ... Buck Barry.

Buck Barry was the WOOD-TV-Channel 8 singing cowboy – even though he was at least one generation late on the cowboy fad. He’d show a couple cartoons, have a guest from the John Ball Park zoo with a lame bird or something, and then he’d pull out his guitar and sing.

Well, actually he yodelled, he didn’t really sing.  He missed the yodelling fad by an even greater margin than the cowboy fad.

Like, 500 years.

Anyway, his show was called “Buckaroo Rodeo” and it went up against TV-13’s Bozo the Clown. The show opened with a Polka song and sort of slid from there. But the goal of every kid was to get to sit in the audience, there were a couple bleachers behind Buck, he’d do a rope trick or crack a whip and, on occasion, he’d call on a kid from the crowd to help. If you were chosen for this honor you received a bag of ... BEMO POTATO CHIPS! Holy crap, can you even imagine? Okay, on Bozo you might win a bike or a giant Tootsie Roll but hey, The Zo didn’t do rope tricks.

But really the only reason to watch Buck Barry was it was the only show that ran Three Stooges “shorts.” Sure, you might have to sit through a couple Popeye cartoons (if you think the Stooges were violent, they couldn’t hold a can of spinach up to Popeye; every episode contained at least two fist fights and an attempted abduction of Popeye’s girlfriend Olive who, quite frankly, wasn’t exactly a looker) or, God forbid, a Felix the Cat.

The best part was before and after the Stooges short ran, Buck would give a disclaimer telling you not to hit your brother in the head with a hammer. He’d be all serious and say “Okay, boys and girls, now remember, you should never try to put your little brothers head into a pants presser.” For the most part we took his advice to heart.

And that was it, a half an hour of a middle-aged cowboy doing tricks and showing cartoons, but it worked. Sure, the show would NEVER survive today, what with Buck tal
king about patriotism and God and all that nonsense but somehow it kinda stuck with you, when you were done watching you felt better about yourself and your country and that wasn’t exactly a bad thing, even though today’s parents might hear the message and get a little ... chapped.

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Outside Chance

Walleye on the river

This past  Saturday, June 15, we were scheduled for a walleye tournament on Lake Erie. Unfortunately the tournament was cancelled due to high winds. With that said, three other boats suggested running up to the St. Clair River. We decided to follow along.

Never been on the river; and we had left all of our jig boxes at home. Our plan was to run crawler harness rigs and hope for the best. Well the best was a two-man limit of six fish each in 1.25 hours. Sometimes playing the cards dealt turns into a windfall.

While many anglers drifted with a jig and plastic combo we were using various versions of the old Wolf River rig. What we were doing was slowly lifting and pulling the sinker forward, then slowly dropping it back. Most hits were a heaviness or a loading up of the rod. Setting the hook was more of a sweeping motion.

The wolf river rig has many uses and is perhaps the easiest system to learn and master. As with any system on the river, other details come into play such as the current, the location of
the fish, and mood. No system adjusts as nicely to the changing conditions as the wolf river rig.

Very simple, this rig uses a three way swivel is tied to your main line. From the swivel a dropper line is added for the sinker. Another line is tied the swivel for your lure.

The dropper line best suited on many rivers is 18-24-inches. The other line for your bait should be fall between 36-48 inches, depending on the amount of snags and how tight the fish are to the bottom. This is a standard length on many crawler harness rigs. You can adjust the sinker dropper line and it will change the distance for the lure line.

You can also run a bottom bouncer. Bottom Bouncers are great and the key lies in the name. Bounce the bottom, do not drag and let it roll over. Open your bail, hit bottom, hold the line for a few seconds and then let it out again to where it just barely touches bottom for a second time. These weights are great!

We were limited in sinker weights because we had planned on fishing Lake Erie. All we had were 3 ounce sinkers and they turned the trick. On some rivers you might use a one ounce or even a split shot, depending on the depth and the current. We fished depths between 28 and 45 feet of water. On some rivers the best holes or runs might be 8-12 foot deep.

This was the perfect place for the Ultra-Violet Spinner Rigs and the Pro Flash Spinner Rigs, both from Stopper Lures. All of our crawlers were packed into a cooler full of ice and maybe 1 inch of water. Fat and lively with no mess.

Another key was running with the current with just enough speed so that your blade would turn. This meant that you are moving faster than the current, thus the heavier sinker. You can also troll into the current but this can be taxing under a heavy current.

One other trick for the river is the old anchor above the hole. In this case use floating body bait similar to a floating Rapala or a Smithwick Rogue. Add a rubber core sinker two feet above the lure and drop into the hole. Most of the fish caught will be either at the front of the hole or at the tail end of the hole. Give it 5-10 minutes before working another section of the hole.

Rivers and walleyes go hand in hand. Walleye spinner rigs are inexpensive as are sinkers. A very simple technique that will work on any river system.