A wild night on Tobin Lake!

The long range forecast was very encouraging, sun and temperatures getting over the ten Celsius mark, a heat wave at this time of year. We had moved up our annual fishing trip to Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan a week earlier than in previous years. After an uneventful ride from Winnipeg, we caught up with a number of old friends who make this trip so special for us.
On day one we fish with Boyd Holmen, in his eighteen foot Yar Craft, a very nice rig indeed!

 This turned out to be the nicest day weather wise but probably our slowest of the three days we fished. We started out a little differently than we usually do by dropping down bottom bouncers and spinners. On our first pass along the river channel in 21 feet of water, we landed three keeper walleye. We then decided to head to the Saskatchewan River mouth to check out the jig bite. On our first drift we managed a number of eating size walleye in the 18 to 21 inch range, with a couple of red zone fish (over 55 cm) thrown in for good measure. About two in the afternoon we decided to get out the trolling rods in order to try and trigger some bigger fish to bite. Friend Jim Price had to his go-to lure on, a shad colour #7 Berkley Flicker Shad.  This bait far out produced anything that Boyd and I put on this day.
Jim was fishing it on 14/4 Fireline, and let out 110 feet of line on the average to get down to the 18 foot range we were fishing. While Boyd and I ended up catching some fish as the sun started to go down,
Jim out fished us more than two to one on that bait. As is usual practice, we fished till dark and there was an intense bite the last hour before sunset. We had a few doubleheaders and the fish size was getting bigger.
Fifteen minutes after sunset, Jim’s rod bent over double under the weight of a really heavy fish. In low light conditions we always use our clickers on our Abu Garcia line counter reels so we can hear if we get a fish on. Well, Jim’s clicker was screaming as line went out. Quickly Boyd and I got our lines in, with Boyd putting the kicker motor in neutral, and putting the I Pilot Terrova in anchor mode.

I grasped the net and extended the handle on the landing net as I perched on the back platform. We all had our headlamps on, to illuminate the water as we waited for this monster to appear. Jim’s fish had taken out 80 feet of line off his spool and it was taking him some time to make any progress on regaining it. Finally Jim had the fish to 40 feet, then 30, and finally at 20. Bingo, the fish rolled and the lure popped out, just before we were to get a look at it. Jim has landed many extremely large walleye in his career but losing this fish really shook him up. I have been in the boat when fifteen plus walleye have been landed and this fish certainly looked to be of that calibre judging from the fight it gave and way it bent the rod.

It was a subdued crew that night that headed home for a supper of fresh walleye.