Column : Call it a fish story or a dream, but that day was really luck

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2006

By: Dick Herfindahl, Woods & Water

In my years of enjoying the outdoors and the sport of fishing there have been more times than not when luck or fate has had the largest impact on my fishing success. We now have all the latest technology available to us and it is supposed to make fishing as easy as picking lint off a dark suit. But the truth is; even if you can find them you still have to get them to bite. Sometimes it just doesn&8217;t matter what method you use to entice them they simply will not take the bait.

No matter what technology we have available fishing is still a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I had my old (meaning he moved) neighbor, Bob Hillman, call me the other day with a fish story that was almost unbelievable. It was one of those things that will happen to a sportsman once in a lifetime.

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I will tell the story as Bob told it to me and try not to leave anything out.

Bob said it all started at Perkins Restaurant where he and his wife had gone for Thanksgiving Dinner. He noticed someone that he knew who lived by the Shell Rock River and in striking up a conversation he asked if the fish were biting on the river. The man said that there had been a truck parked in this certain spot all week so he assumed he was catching something.

After dinner Bob took his wife home and decided to enjoy the nice day and check out the river. When he arrived at the river there was another guy fishing. Bob asked if they were biting and he said that a guy had just left with three nice walleyes.

Bob said &8220;I really had no intentions of fishing because I still had on my good clothes and my wife told me not to get them dirty.&8221;

After checking things out Bob said &8220;I couldn&8217;t resist any longer and I happened to have my rod and reel in the car. As I went to the river&8217;s edge I fell on my rear and then stepped into the water, getting my new shoes all wet and my good clothes dirty.&8221; (This is evidence that there is always that little kid lurking inside of every fisherman.)

&8220;As I made my first cast the lure hit the water and I made one turn of the handle and had my first walleye. I cast again and caught another nice fish. As I caught another on my third cast I could see the guy fishing by me had stopped fishing and was just watching me.&8221; He kept saying &8220;I don&8217;t believe it and as I cast a fourth time I caught my fourth fish, four casts &045; four fish.&8221;

The fisherman that was now observing all this said &8220;I have been on Canadian fly-ins and have never seen any nicer walleyes or seen them caught as fast.&8221;

&8220;I made my fifth cast and didn&8217;t catch anything and the guy asked me if something was wrong, but on my sixth cast I had a fifth fish on but it got off. I cast a seventh time and had my fifth fish. I then asked the guy beside me to pinch me because I surely must be dreaming.&8221;

&8220;By now I&8217;m so nervous that I can barely hang onto my rod. On my ninth cast I had my sixth nice walleye.&8221; This all happened in about a 20-minute span.

&8220;Before I left I just stood on the bank of the Shell Rock River and gave thanks for the beautiful warm day and to the DNR for a great stocking program and most of all I thanked God for giving me a memory that I will cherish forever.&8221;

When Bob called me with this story I could tell from the excitement in his voice that he had just experienced something that fishermen of all ages dream of. Lucky you, Bob, for being able to enjoy this great experience, and lucky us, because you wanted to share it with us. Thanks!

Here is a news release from Ray Hangge of the Southern Minnesota Chapter of Muskies Inc.:

The December meeting of Southern Minnesota Crossroads Chapter 54 of Muskies, Inc. will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Eagles in Owatonna. The speaker will be from Musky Tales Inc., a distributor of musky lures and more.

The chapter does not endorse any business. Our members are informed of any support we get so they can show their appreciation. Christmas is coming and so is the &8217;07 musky season. Musky Tales wants members and guests to see what products and service they have to offer. Our Jan. 10 speaker will be George Selke, of the Minnesota Musky Alliance. This will be an update of what the Alliance is working on for all the chapters. It is a good time for member input. The board has several excellent speakers and programs scheduled right up to opening day and beyond.

Our meetings are the second Wednesday of every month and include raffles and door prizes from our supporters. Visitors interested in musky fishing are always welcome. Our goal is to improve musky fishing in southern Minnesota. Come share your fishing story and good conversation. We need your help. Join and support Muskies Inc.

Until next time play safe and enjoy the outdoors because you never know when you will have that once in a lifetime experience. Remember to keep the troops that are serving our country in your thoughts and prayers.