SOMETIMES, YOU NEED a little craziness in your life. With friends, family and dogs like I have, you would think I would have plenty of craziness in my life. But last week, I actually welcomed, nay encouraged, a little more craziness to accompany me for a day.

The occasion was an afternoon of fishing with a fellow who is crazier than a flock of coots, loonier than a gaggle of loons, and just overall a wild and crazy guy.

I’ve told him more than once that I’m glad he spent more than 30 years of his hospital career as a pathologist, rather than a doc who actually operated on living people. I’m quite sure he’d have been the one on laughing gas; not the patients.

Gary is a Marshfield native, but he’s sort of a north Wisconsin native as well having spent parts or all of practically every summer throughout his entire life at a cabin that originally was built by his grandfather about 400 years ago, give or take a year or two.

How I went through my youth without ever running into him boggles my mind, since the aforementioned cabin is only about a half-mile through the woods from the house I grew up in. Moreover, I know that while both of us spent much time wading Rice Creek catching water snakes and frogs and such, we never ran into each other back then. Although in the foggy haze of our current old codger memories we probably just don’t remember doing so.

At any rate, on a sunny day last week, we loaded up my Old Town, threw in a rod apiece, a bag of purple and lime-green peanut M&M’s®, a liquid refreshment apiece and headed for a secret lake where I assured him he would wear out his arm catching largemouth bass.

After he took a picture of the last secret lake I took him to and worse yet, posted it on social media, I made sure to blindfold him before even starting my truck this time. In addition, I gave him a stern warning that should he commit another such transgression I would have to punish him probably like Judge Roy Bean used to do: shoot him and then, hang him.

I don’t think he took any pictures this time and with the blindfold duct taped over his face, I’m pretty certain he would not be able to tell anyone where this secret lake is nor even hazard a hint at which direction one must go to get to it.

Far back in the woods via a bumpy, rutty, muddy old two-track logging road, over which we bounced in a highly satisfactory fashion at 15 per or something like that, we unloaded the Old Town, affixed it to my 20-year-old canoe roller, and pulled and pushed it about 15 miles to the hidden lake.

We gingerly put in at the bottom of a steep bank and off we went on our great adventure. Stories flew from one end of the boat to the other, crawlers and plastic minnows flew over and into the water, and many bass were “slew-ed.” Actually, except for one 12 incher — which may or may not have succumbed to a fairly deep hook removal done as tenderly as possible — we slew not a few bass; not a single one, in fact.

But we did catch them. Oh, did we catch them. After a bit of a slow start for 20 minutes, a brief time in which I started to wonder if my perfect record this summer of personally catching at least one fish on every outing I went on would end, we found a honey hole.

Rather, we found a honey shoreline; a few hundred yards of swampy shoreline where largemouth were in great abundance. Several times, we had fish on at the same time. Except for a couple casts which ended in spruce tree branches, Gary kept his floating jig and crawler rig in the water, as did I.

Most of the bass were what Gordon MacQuarrie, the old duck hunter and Brule River “troutster” extraordinaire, would have called “dandiprats.” They ranged from 9 to 13 inches. What they lacked in size they made up for in determined fight.

Every now and then, one of us hooked into a bass most any fisherman would call a good fish. A fisherman with no sense of decency nor any abhorrence of telling fibs, untruths and outright lies might say that we each caught a couple of real lunkers topped, of course, by a “turty” inch, 15 pounder I landed. But since I have long since sworn off even slight exaggerations when describing my outdoor adventures, I will admit that the largest was only 17 inches. Several more ran 15 and 16 inches.

A light breeze kept away any mosquitoes that may have been in the vicinity. The only company we had was a family of five mallards and four painted turtles dozing on a sun-drenched log.

The only mishap we had was when I knocked the bag of candy off the middle seat of the Old Town, which was entirely Gary’s fault for leaving it right where I would have to put my hand down to steady myself while reaching for the carton of crawlers he was hogging in the back of the boat. As is the perogative of any good fishing captain, I rightly assigned blame to Gary, sparing him having to walk the plank only because no harm was caused to any Crown Royal in the incident. Employing the five-second rule, all the rescued candy was devoured.

By the end of our outing, we had caught, by unofficial count, at least 40 bass and that is no exaggeration. The little lake we were on was one like several others I know of where few are the fishermen who even know it exists and even fewer will go to the trouble of portaging a canoe or kayak through the woods to reach it.

It is a jewel of a lake, one on which my friends Matt and Judy will finally make good on our joint promise to go fishing together one of these days during one of their many visits from the Milwaukee area where Matt is a homicide detective and Judy is, well I’m not sure what she is these days, other than a really good friend of mine.

Maybe we’ll even outfish Gary, even if we can’t come close to “out-crazying” him.