Fish Catching Travel
Baits for all your fishing needs.
This is not a post about fishing, the day 3 fishing has yet to begin, and it will be a late start. It is 5am and I am up making coffee and listening to the weather, and I don’t mean on the TV. It is supposed to be clearing and out of here this morning, but nooooo. It is currently blowing 40 and still raining. It is still quiet here in our cabin overlooking the lake, except all 3 of these reprobates are snoring like it is some kind of contest and the screen door is slamming back and forth. I guess they do not hear me moving around because of the dull roar. I mean those guys can really snore!
We had a great time eating Gulf snapper with Paul and Chris last night. It was nice to cook them supper, just a small payback in the grand scheme of things for their hospitality. They are such good hosts. Of course fishing and hunting was the main topic of conversation. Paul is really helpful marking maps and directing folks to fish. One of the things they offer is deer hunting, and how deer are hunted here is so different from anything we experience. Talk of bear and wolves, bucks that field dress at over 200, heavy racks in the 140’s, and moose. It was enough to make me take up hunting again. And the ice fishing here is fantastic, that is on my bucket list sometime. Of course none of the conversation involved any amount of exaggeration.
We are the only folks to speak of here right now, but they have a group of 24 arriving Thursday. According to them they are quite the fishermen. As part of the package Paul and his son clean fish. Now one might think they would do it for free but that is not the case and I can sure see why. With a 10 crappie limit, not to mention their daily 2 walleye, and pike if they want them, you can only imagine what that pile of fish looks like. They all limit and it fills 3 coolers everyday! As I have been the main fish cleaner of this bunch over the years it must be nice to come back to camp, hand over the cooler, pop a beer and watch, sounds like heaven to me. If you ever wanted to do a trip like this with a group of guys (Girls can come to if they can stand the smell of fishermen who do not shower enough) this is the place.
Man o’ man you should see our porch. All of us have taken to using those big plastic bins to transport tackle. This year is an even more impressive sight. A quick count shows 34 rods and 43 reels, and that is conservative. There is enough line spools to stretch to China. we are talking everything from 4lb mono to 80lb braid. And lures, wow. Between us we probably have 150, and that is just the new in the package stuff. We all brought the usual stuff for any fish that swims in these waters, but with the muskie hunt of course it involves new stuff. It is not like buying crappie jigs. Most of the baits are $25, and I hate to tell you what the rods and reels cost. I have decided that we really do have tackle magnets in our heads. You know, when you walk down the aisle at any tackle store anywhere in the world and stuff jumps off the shelf and sticks to our head and just won’t come off. What really makes the porch so impressive is the fact that we all kept it to a dull roar when packing. Crazy.
To give you a little information on the 3 guys with me let me tell you about them. Clyde had been our buddy for almost 50 years. One of the really good guys around. When I move to Arkansas in 74′ he came along and we ran our little tackle and convenance store. I paid him $40 a week and all the grub he could eat. He moved in with us in our little trailer and we ran the store. Open 12 hours a day, we split the day and one would fish for 6 hours and the other would work, and then we would fish all night. It was truly fishing fever and times I will never forget. And in the words of my buddy Tad, who I worked with at the lure company later. Clyde could tear up and anvil, and you just loved him all the more.
After a couple of years we sold the store and I met John. He owned the biggest marina on Lake Norfork. His partner sold his share to John and I ended up living in the house at the dock overlooking the lake. At the time there were 2 ferries that ran 24 hours to get folks across the lake. Sitting on the porch on a clear Arkansas night watching the stars as the ferries chugged back and forth is one of my great memories. For the next 10 years I worked with him at the dock everyday. Part of the deal was I guided whenever I needed to, which in the spring and fall was a ton. We went through several tornados hitting the dock, a 28 foot raise in 24 hours, the usual hanger arounders at the dock, hot chicks in bikinis in the summer, it was all good. We built docks, took care of folks, and my morning always started with us drinking coffee and trying to get our motors running. I will never forget going to rescue some folks with a broke down boat and getting a pontoon smashed on my head as a tornado tossed me around like a rag doll. The only thing that saved me as I was trapped under the overturned boat was I had 2 orange life jackets, one under each arm that kept me from drowning. As John rushed out to save us he pulled up and just got all over my case for not having a life jacket on, which I had just take off. He was just as happy to see me alive as I was to be alive. A good man, he is just as cool as the other side of the pillow.
And my brother Jeff, the mighty Shoedog. Fishing together our whole lives of course as brothers at times I could not stand him when we were teenagers. We worked through that of course, I could be a real horses rear end and take the blame. He spent over 30 years chasing the bucks and fishing when he could. He would make the drive to Arkansas and we would fish till we dropped and off he would go. His business kept him busy but now his hard work has paid off and he was able to retire early and we are chasing fish wherever it leads. Belize, Canada, Florida and everywhere in between. A good traveling partner we will keep it up till we die. We did not have much money in the old days, but we figured it out and always found a way to catch some fish.
Now that I have waxed poetic about these bozos, lets get to the part that kills me. It is like f’n herding cats. One of the great things about Canada is the different species to fish, and the huge amount of water in which to chase them. So the conversation daily goes like this: Where do you want to go? I don’t know. I don’t care. It is up to you. How about here? How about Lake of the Woods? What do you want to catch today? I don’t care. How about walleyes. How about muskie? What time do you want to leave? I don’t care. How about early? Want to make lunch and be gone all day? I don’t care. How about fishing here at Crow and coming in for lunch and a break? I don’t care. Around and around it goes until we arrive at some conclusion. Don’t get the wrong impression, I am just as guilty of being part of the problem and not the solution. And of course once we are getting set to go there is always: Did you get the worms? I forgot my rainsuit. I have to run up the hill and go to the bathroom. Where is the net? As we all get older we are like a bunch of old women, no offense to old women. What do you want to eat tonight. I don’t care. I don’t know. And you know what? I would not trade it for the world. As my lovely wife says, who I thank everyday for letting me spend my money and beer and fishing then waste the rest, these are the times of our lives.
Shoedog just pulled up the radar and it is till coming. It will be a late start today but the wind is supposed to die this afternoon. The rain is just part of the deal here and we are prepared for that. So here I am, the wind is howling outside, the boys are starting to move around and in a couple of hours we will figure something out, we always do. If someone will just make a decision!
So it is all good, in fact better than good. We are armed and dangerous. I appreciate you coming along with us and I will keep banging out this drivel. Keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff. Something fantastic is about the happen, hope nobody gets hurt!
Good Luck and Tight Lines