It has been a bit of a different year out on
the ice. We didn’t get any decent ice until a recent cold snap, then snow, the
warm weather again…yikes. While I have been out on Lake Winnipeg twice in the
last week, it is pretty tough to get around in a vehicle out there right now.
For true mobility it’s either snowmachine or Sno
| Susan Geres with her trophy|
Not many will be able to match
the story that Susan Geres has been able to tell over the last month since she
caught her fish of a lifetime. Geres, and husband Roger are avid anglers, who
live in Langenburg, Saskatchewan. Roger
works at the potash mine nearby. Since it is shift work, the two of them spent
almost every spare moment fishing. Since they live a reasonable drive from Lake
of the Prairies that is their favourite destination. This winter Susan Geres
says they were disappointed with the late start to the ice fishing season
because of the warm temperatures. She also believes it changed location of the
walleye in the reservoir. Many of their traditional spots were not producing so
since the cold spell they have spent a lot of time moving around trying to find
fish. Finally they found a spot with some fish activity.
“We were in about 25-26 feet of water using my favourite hooks, (I love
PK Flutterfish). We were seeing a little more action on the Marcum LX-7 than normal
for this year. We had caught a few that were small but then a big mark showed
Geres got that fish to hit but missed it. She quickly reeled
up and put another half a minnow on. “I
let it down and touched bottom lifted up and bang he's back!”
With this big fish now hooked up on six pound test, Susan
called her husband over to help land this monster. When I talked to Roger on
the phone, he mentioned that he didn’t want to tell his wife how big the fish
really was in case she panicked.
When she finally saw the fish down the hole, she almost
fainted. Roger got the fish on the ice though and the rest is history
“We just looked at
each other like it wasn't real and I almost started crying I was so happy! We
couldn't believe how big it was! We have seen big fish in pictures but this is
the biggest we've ever seen in real life.”
The fish was caught later in the afternoon when the activity
level on the reservoir usually picks up. The fish measured out at 79
centimetres (31 inches) with a weight of 6.12 kilograms or 13.5 pounds. Both Roger and Susan agonized over whether to keep the fish or not. Roger knows how valuable this fish is in the gene pool and he says they always release the large fish. However, with this one as a fish of a lifetime they decided to get it mounted.
I mentioned to Roger the work of Paul Janz at Flexfish. He does some of the best replica work anywhere and I explained I had three replica mounts from him that I use in my school presentations. They are incredibly lifelike and have plastic fins and a soft texture to the skin.
Check them out at www.flexfish.ca
Cynthia Nerbas, who works for Asessippi
Parkland Tourism says it goes down as one of the largest walleye ever caught on
the lake. Nerbas says it will help highlight their big ice fishing event to be
held February 27th. For more information visit http://f.asessippiparklandtourism.com/ice-derby.html
Last year a 71 centimetre walleye won the first place prize,
which this year is $12, 500.
Long-time friend Ken Kansas, who
lived for years on the shores of Lake of the Prairies, says a walleye of this
size is fairly rare on this body of water, though big female walleye this size
have been caught in the past. Kansas is a biologist with Manitoba Fisheries.
Kansas says it is nice to see that this particular fish has a good length to
girth ratio. For years the bigger walleye in this lake have been long and
skinny but an improved forage base is increasing the number of heavier fish.
Don Stokotelny, from Dauphin, has guided on the lake for years, and confirms
this probably is the largest walleye caught on the reservoir in a long time. He
was well aware of the Geres fishing exploits. These two have caught many big
fish on the reservoir, most of them pike. In fact Susan has a 47.5 inch pike to
Roger says those are pretty big benchmarks to try and beat!
Labels: big walleye a beautiful memory