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,
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.
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
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.