In search of new fishing spots

Hi, thanks for dropping by.

With the coming of summer, the urge to travel far and wide in search of new fishing waters captures our imagination. It was no surprise that when I visited with folks around Lake Winnipeg’s south basin last week their unusual stories took us to unfamiliar places.

On a perfect sunny Tuesday morning on the Selkirk pier I met Dan Carlson from Winnipeg. He seemed a man totally comfortable with his time and place in life.  Relaxing in his fishing chair, cap over graying hair, a short mustache and goatee, his soft featured face showed enjoyment as he told a heartwarming story of his brother-in-law, John, who caught just one fish, a master, in his whole life.  It happened that Dan and John were boat fishing on Granite Lake, Ontario and John who had never fished before was having no luck.  When it was time to go back to camp Dan told him to leave his line in the water to troll and maybe he’d get a bite.  Minutes later Johns’ rod bent over hard.  Dan stopped the boat watching Johns’ rod snapping, quivering and darting from side to side.  The line “twanged” in strained tension as a monster jackfish ripped from the water sending a spray high in the air.  John being a man of average size and not familiar with this kind of furious action asked Dan to take over “Come on Johnnie, you can do it, hang in there,” his brother-in law urged.

Determined, Johns’ hands clamped on his rod, his shoulders stiffened, he braced his feet against the side of the boat hauling and reeling in.  The jack set a pattern, being still then tearing away.  Water skiers and boaters stopped to witness the hour long battle.  In time though, the man conquered the fish and John brought the four foot long beast to the boat.  The fight, however, had ended the pike.  Later that night when they were in camp, Dan couldn’t help having a little fun at Johns’ expense.  John had left the jackfish outside on the deck planning to get it stuffed and mounted.  Dan and the men in camp kidded him saying the bears would get it so he dragged it in and placed his treasure in the freezer.  John never fished again, but for years every once in a while he could be seen sitting in his living room, a satisfied smile on his face, raising his coffee cup to his fish on the wall.

Not long ago I met dad, John Trueman and son James of Winnipeg.  Both were slim, grey haired men with matter-of-fact natures who liked to observe people and things around them.  They also liked to fish in Wallace Lake east of Bissett which is known for its gigantic jackfish and from time to time would witness a spectacle that they had seen there before.  They would watch as a mother duck would swim across the lake followed by its’ ducklings.  All of a sudden the huge teeth ladened jaw of a jack would appear under the duck then both would disappear in a split second.  Not long after smaller jack fish would emerge and the ducklings would disappear.  Such is the harsh reality of life in the wilds.

I was on my way over to Gimli last weekend and decided to make a quick stop at the Winnipeg Beach Marina Complex.  On the north beach I met Nelson Ferreira from Sandy Hook.  He had caught a pickerel shore fishing there which was kind of unusual because that beach is known mostly for bass fishing.  Later in Gimli I met local, Randy Dann, a tall, well built chap with short light hair who spoke with warm intelligence as he gave us a story.  He had spent a fair amount of time working and angling in northern Manitoba and as we know you get “spoiled” with the unbelievable fishing up there.  It seems he was working with a pilot and chopper years ago and they set down on a flat rock face with foot deep spring water trickling over it by Island Lake near Waasagomach.  Countless pickerel, he said, were swimming between their legs so instead of catching their  “supper fish” with rod and reel, they literally slapped their legs together stunning them then tossed a few onto the floor of the chopper!

Till next week, so-long my friends.