Well, our fishing trip to Black Bear Lodge is now over. Our trip up was good except we managed to hit a deer. Our driver had no chance to avoid the deer, so we hit him with the front left of the bus, and the only apparent damage was the front headlight. It pushed the light to the left but it was OK.
When we got to camp, we loaded all the gear on the trailers and brought it down to camp. They got it all in their cabins, and we met in the dining hall for registration.
The sad part about this was that Jillian, our boss lady, had wrenched her back and was on crutches. This kept her quite immobile.
Luckily, she found a local lady to come in and cook. After rules and regulations, we were all assigned to our boats and got our gear in them. Supper was at 5 p.m., and then our fishermen took off for some evening fishing. Several walleyes and pike were caught.
Sunday was our first full day of fishing. They all took off in several directions to try their luck. Grandpa Steve Duffield and his grandson, Jake May, caught two pike over
40 inches, and they were ready to try for more. Even though fishing was a little slow, our DNR buddies caught three walleyes over 5 pounds.
During the week and in no certain order, we caught at least 15 pike 40 inches and over. But the real champ was Roger Ugasco and his junior. He anchored near a big rock wall and fished with a minnow called a Cisco. During their three hours, they caught two pike over 38 inches, and three more over 40 inches.
But the best of all was a 43-incher that weighed 20 pounds. This was the fourth largest pike since we have been keeping count. Needless to say, both Rogers were quite happy.
In the trout division, Chad Arkels, Justin Harris and Tony Carr were very productive. They probably boated about 30 lakers. Chad’s three sons, Matt Harris and Jarrett Carr held the honors.
Each day of the week, I fished with a different son and grandson. Three of them had never been to BBL before and they picked up the casting technique quite quickly. They did, however, learn the word “SNAG” during their trips. They were pretty successful retrieving them except the ones that landed in trees on the bank. Each grandson caught walleye and pike. Their smiles were a great reward for Grandpa.
Each morning, we all headed out for walleyes. After fishing a couple of hours, we all went to an island for shore lunch. We carried with us a couple of propane stoves, potatoes and cooking ingredients. My sons filleted the fish while others sliced potatoes. When the oil got hot, potatoes and walleyes started frying. This was done under the leadership of Kristian’s father-in-law, Gib Godwin, who fried the walleyes to perfection. Freshly caught walleyes from the lake are really a treat, and we ate our fill.
Our week has now ended. It seems that once we get unpacked, its time to load up for our trip home. The weather was decent, the fishing was good and the students were great. They fished well and were very helpful around camp.
I was very happy with all the fathers-sons and grandpas that fished together. All in all, we had a good time.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who gave me a helping hand. This ole critter needed help in quite a few areas. Thanks to PHS, local fishermen, friends from Missouri, and DNR who were all great fish mates.
Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoors columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.