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Monday, March 08, 2010

Ice Fishing on the Lake of the Woods

One Sunday morning grandson Alex, friend Wayne and I loaded up the Prius and headed for Lake of the Woods. By 3 pm we had arrived at Arnesen’s Rocky Point Resort. Our guide Joe, picked us up in his Bombardier snowcat. After loading a lot of stuff into the snowcat, we headed out onto the huge lake to our 4-man ice shack.

The shack is a red, steel sheathed building about 8’ x 18’ in size. It contains 4 bunks, a tiny biffy, a card table, a 4 burner LP range and 2 LP gas lamps. There are 4 sets of 2 fishing holes, 2 on each side. Outside a 300 gallon LP gas “pig” rests on skids

Joe gave us the ‘tour’ of the shack with instructions on the operation of the biffy, CO and fire alarms. He left us with 5 gallons of drinking water and a bucket with hundreds of minnows. He would return the next morning to see how we are doing.

After deciding on our bunk assignments, we got right to fishing. Not surprisingly, Alex caught the first fish. Over the next 2 days Alex out fished us two adults, 2:1. It was over 24 hours before I was to catch my first fish. Wayne was also very successful. We caught mainly walleyes and were able to take home our legal limit of walleyes. We also caught just a few saugers. The largest fish was caught by Alex – a 26”, 6 lb northern. I think each of us caught one walleye near the 19” size. Besides taking home our northern and limit of walleyes, we had walleye for supper Sunday night. Fishing regs required 19 1/2” walleyes to be released.

A little excitement ensued when I caught my best walleye. The measuring device was up on the wall over the table. The table was cluttered with dishes, various odds and ends including salt & pepper and a plastic container of waxies. As I was holding the slippery, thrashing fish up to the measure, he wriggled loose with a powerful thrust. The fish flopped onto the table and flopped again flying over Wayne’s shoulder and landing crosswise onto one of his ice holes. Wayne dived for the fish. Meanwhile, the items on the table were strewn across the floor.

The fish was recaptured, the waxies were rounded up and replaced into their container, salt & pepper and other paraphernalia were replaced upon the table. However, I wasn’t finished yet. The fish had to be measured. To cut to the quick, I once again held the fish up to the wall above the table. Wally the walleye decided to try his escape tactic once more. De’ja’ Vu all over again.

Mid Tuesday morning, Joe picked us up for the snowcat ride back to the lodge and we were on our way home from an enjoyable and successful fishing trip.

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