Thanks Dad

23 08 2015

This was going to be a tough night, not because of the conditions but because this was my first fishing trip since my dad passed away.  While he was battling cholangiocarcinoma there was always that glimmer of hope that we would be able to get out one more time.  Unfortunately he was never able to get any strength back to make a night of pulling wire enjoyable.  Our  last trip together was last October on my friend Richard’s boat.  I will be forever grateful to Richard for taking us both out.  We didn’t catch many fish that night but we did get to spend a few precious fishing hours together.  Since then I would call him while I was fishing and tell him how I was doing.  He was always happy to hear my voice and the sound of my Evinrude running in the background.  We would talk about all the trips we made and how we would get out fishing again soon.  That trip never did happen and now the reality of never fishing with him has really set in. No phone call, no pictures emailed to him in the morning and no plans for future trips.  It was going to be a tough night.

I started fishing around 8:30 pm down by the brown boat house in about 18 to 20 feet of water.  The water is still clear so I started with a couple of spoons and a #9 Black/Silver Rapala.  Not much happened the first 15 minutes so I pulled lines and headed upstream to where the catamaran used to be.  About 1 minute later I had my first walleye of the night on and a few seconds later he was in the boat.  He hit the Michigan Stinger spoon (sorry Jim), one I recently found in my Dad’s garage.  Once I got him in the cooler I dropped my lines back and it wasn’t long before I had another hit.  This one was one of those dead weight hits that I have grown to despise so much.  I didn’t even need to guess what lure it was on, my 40 foot lead and the Rapala.  Just like so many fish before him he waited until he got up to the side of the boat to make that last head shake and throw the lure.  This was really getting frustrating so I witched things up a bit.  I moved the one Rapala to my kicker, added a #9 Blue/Silver Rapala to my 20 foot lead and added a big blue and silver pencil plug to my 40 foot lead.  Maximum hooks for hopefully maximum hook ups.  That seemed to do the trick.  The next two fish came on the pencil plug and each fish had all three treble hooks in them.  I don’t know what it is about these lures but the walleye seem to hit them right in the center and get all the hooks in them.  I’m not going to complain.  It took a little while but I finally got the forth and fifth fish between 10:30 and 11:00 pm and they each grabbed one of the two Rapala’s.  A good way to end the night.

While I was fishing I noticed some lights south of me.  It was a strand of about 2 dozen rising up from the trees to the night sky.  It looked like that old CNN stock footage from the Iraq war where the flak was headed up to hit a plane that wasn’t there.  Eventually I realized it was a group of people releasing a bunch of paper lanterns.  I’m sure it was a tribute of some kind but it seemed fitting for me to be the only one fishing tonight and to see that as I was thinking about my father.  All around it was a perfect night and not as hard as I thought it would be.

Thanks Dad.


8-21 walleye



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