Friday, June 6, 2014

The story of a rod: Fishing Report Spring 2014

For much of the last decade, one of my regular activities has been fishing Lake of the Woods with my father (Mike or Dad) and others during Memorial Weekend.  This was the first opportunity for me to see Dad's new motor in action, which not surprisingly was quite expensive. With a smaller than normal group this year, we all fished in one boat.  Warm calm days made for easy fishing conditions, and we were fortunate to catch many fish: multiple 13.5 inch Perch, 16 inch Black Crappies, and of course Walleyes.

Having fished with my father on many occasions, I expect him to catch more fish than me more than half the time.  On this trip however I caught not only more but also bigger fish each of the three days. Some of the walleyes were quite finicky and biting light. At the same time, Dad was telling of other fisherman that can tell when a Walleye actually bites rather than nudging the bait. If I was ever able to put into words how grateful I am for my father's Memorial weekend invitations, all the fishing and hunting trips together, or for his regular car and home improvement projects I may have had a different epiphany.  As it was, I knew I needed to buy my father a nicer fishing rod.

Christine, who has a unique talent of price shopping, found what I wanted and I made a mid-week road trip to have a medium weight fast action G-Loomis GL2 for Dad to fish with the next weekend.  My parents went north to Lake of the Woods after work Friday while a friend from Winona and I drove up early Saturday morning. As soon as we got out of the car we were greeted with this photo of Mike's first fish on the new rod!  A 27-inch walleye!! This fish was larger than all caught the entire previous holiday weekend and in many years is the largest walleye of the season for my parents. Could the fishing get better for the new rod?

We had great fishing on Saturday May 31st. Calm warm weather allowed us to go wherever we wanted on the lake, with the only downside being that mosquitos would find us if we got to close to shore. By late afternoon we had approximately 20 walleyes between 17 and 23 inches, but no more big ones.  Dad decided to try another spot, where he had previous success. After catching a few nice ones, Dad said I'm going to slide the boat up into the little hole and catch a 30 incher. Babe Ruth's prediction and calling his shot was more believable, as he had hit many previous home runs.  Dad had never caught a 30 inch walleye before, but drove the boat when I had caught one about 8 years before.  Within 10 minutes however he hooked this walleye, which just happened to be 30 inches.....his largest walleye ever! The Great Bambino had nothing on this prediction.

We ended with over 100 fish that day, mostly walleyes with double digits of both northern and small mouth bass and only a few crappie and perch. The two fish that stuck out however, the first fish on the rod and largest walleye ever.

A weather system came through that night and Sunday fishing was slower.  We ended with 30 fish in the boat for all four of us on Sunday.  Dan caught his largest walleye ever, a solid 26 inch beauty that bested his previous largest of last year by an inch.  Somehow I felt too tired to celebrate as much as I should have, being with Dad when he caught his big one made everything else seem small.

Dan's largest walleye ever, 26 inches.
Malcolm's 25 inch walleye.

A few other photos from the fishing trip are below.  

Mom's Smallmouth that was just under 20 inches.

Dad with the 30th fish of Sunday.

The rod will never be able to truly reveal all of my positive emotions toward my dad, but sometimes we need something tangible to speak what our mouths are unable to express.  Just writing these words have me choked up and struggling to type.  So I look forward to every time I hear about their fishing exploits as I remember the rod, the memories and all the other things that make my father the wonderful, supportive father he is.  I guess this is an early Father's Day tribute, but timely after an enjoyable time spent back home in MN.  Thank you Dad for another year of memories and helping me figure out who I truly aspire to be.


Anonymous said...

It 's all a true fish story I will vouch for that;. Better yet are the great memories, heart felt thoughts and feelings, and the super nice addition of the fishing rod in the boat; all of the above thanks to Malcolm. we love you! Mom & Dad

Aubrey said...

Beautifully put Charlie!