by Mark Walters
A Perfect Day in Canada
I recently returned home from a 7-day fly-in fishing trip to a lake that I have been fishing on since 1982. The family and friends that I make this annual trip with are part of my deer camp, duck camp, ice camp, and for the most part we all originate in one way or another from Poynette High School.
Today, I am going to write about a perfect day for my, 13-year-old daughter, Selina Walters, myself, and my 25-year-old nephew, Riley Schuster, as we came to the end of a great week at Shultz Lake (www.chimolodge.com).
Thursday, June 19th
High 66, low 46
I have not had to cook or wash dishes in four days, today I slept until 9:00, last night I stayed up and played a fun card game with family and friends until 3:00 a.m.
It was 22-year-old Trent Schuster’s day to do all camp chores and the rest of us drink coffee and prepare for the upcoming ten-hour day in the boat catching fish, viewing nature, and laughing a lot. We are the only cabin on the entire chain of lakes so if we see another boat it’s always a friend.
Today, Selina, Riley and myself are taking a boat ride to a trail, and then a walk to another lake where there is a boat. We will spend the day fishing for walleye and northern pike on that lake and if we can pull ourselves away from the awesome walleye fishing, we will attempt to fish lake trout. In 32-years we have only caught one “laker” and that was Selina and myself and just last year,
On Monday of this week my stepson, Joey Dushek, along with Trent and Riley fished this lake and Joey caught a 30.25-inch walleye. That fish is winning our big walleye of the week bet and no one believes it can be beat based on past years results.
There is a strong wind, I am operating the 8-horseYamaha and for the most part all of the walleye that we are catching are on a small lake, off from this lake and that lake is only about five-feet deep. The hot bait is floating jigs on a 1.25-ounce bottom bouncer tipped with a piece of crawler. Our best luck is trolling and we probably average 3 walleye a round trip on this 40-acre piece of paradise.
Riley and I enjoy an occasional Canadian beer and life is perfect. The day is passing and I had just missed a good fish that we never saw. On the next round, in the same spot, I hook a good fish and Riley, who also netted Joey’s big walleye, is ready with the net.
The big walleye gives an awesome fight and in the end Riley is perfect at his job and we have a big fish in the boat. All of us figured maybe 29-inches and were totally surprised when it easily made 30.5, which made it a quarter of an inch bigger then Joey’s.
For everyone involved this is almost an unreal story and it is great that Riley is along for the measurement.
With an hour of daylight left, I easily talked Riley and Selina into making an attempt at catching a lake trout. We rigged our heavy poles with two-ounce weights and Selina put on a spoon that her uncle Dick “Schuster” told her would be her lucky spoon. With a solid wind blowing we began trolling without electronics over 60-feet of water. Right off the bat we had hits and most seemed to be small northern pike. With maybe 15-minutes left to fish, Selina hooked a good fish and the fight was on in high seas with me keeping the boat straight. Riley working the net and Selina fighting a fish that we were hoping was a trout. After about ten minutes, we could see the fish in the very clear water and it looked huge with its mouth wide open as it tried to spit the hook. We worked the wind, Selina kept her pole up, and Riley made an excellent long shot with the net and Selina had herself a beautiful 15-pound lake trout in the boat.
I declared that it could be her first wall mount fish, we wrapped it in my rain pants made the hike back to Shultz Lake and tonight, Selina was the hero of camp with my walleye of the week taking a distant second.
Folks if that don’t make you happy, you ain’t breathing! Congrats Selina. – Dad
THIS WEEK’S COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative