BY ROGER SABOTA
SPECIAL TO THE STAR JOURNAL
Several weeks ago nine of us spent a week fishing for walleyes on a large Canadian lake. The “Osseo Jinx” was instrumental in starting this fishing trip over 20 years ago and it has remained a trip we all look forward to. Our destination, as usual, was Halleys Camp on the English River in northwestern Ontario, Canada.
This year seven of us packed our gear into two trucks and boats here in Rhinelander. We met the “Osseo Jinx” and one more fisherman in Superior where we did some rearranging so we had three fishermen in each of three trucks.
The trip from Rhinelander to the resort in Canada is about twelve hours. It was my privilege this year to have our son, Craig, and his son, Jack along on the trip. It had been quite a few years since they had been with us.
On Monday morning we were getting ready to find some walleyes. As we prepared to head out on the water we discovered that the keys for my boat were not where they should have been. Our son, Craig, was sure that they had to be in the boat but where was the question. After some frantic scrambling I remembered that there was a plastic box in the boat with an extra key. We dug out the box and after a bit of good-natured kidding we headed out.
The first order of business is to put several walleyes in the live wells for shore lunch. That area of Ontario is considered conservation waters therefore the walleye limit is two per person per day. That seems a bit conservative, however we have fished this water for many years and the walleyes are still very plentiful.
Our grandson, Jack, immediately began to catch walleyes while Craig and I were still getting our rods rigged up to fish. It didn’t take long for us to catch our limit of two fish per angler. After that we practiced catch and release.
The first three days we lived in rain suits and the wind kept us in close to the shore. The last two days the weather was great and we caught walleyes, small mouth bass and northerns.
Shore lunch is always a highlight of each day of fishing! This year we actually skipped shore lunch one day because of the bad weather. That rarely happens!
Another great trip was entered into the history books and of course there are plans for next year.
On our return trip on that Saturday we had a bit of a challenge due to the torrential rainstorm that washed out roads in the Ashland area, including a part of U.S. Hwy 2. Our arrival in Rhinelander was a bit delayed but we arrived without incident.
For a number of years the “Osseo Jinx” and I have taken a musky trip in August to Lake of the Woods in Canada. We can be assured that the number of muskies caught will not be as numerous as the number of walleyes caught on this last trip.
Closer to home, turkey hunters should be aware that applications for the fall hunt for turkeys, sharp tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher and otter are due on August 1. Applications can be made at DNR service centers, license agents and online at gowild.wi.gov. The fall hunt for turkeys in zones 1-5 runs from Sept. 17 to Dec. 31.
In zones 6 and 7 the hunt begins on Sept. 17 and closes Nov. 18. This is the first time it will be open on the Friday before the opening of the nine-day gun deer season and during the gun deer season in zones 1-5 only.
The good news is that the 2016 spring turkey season harvest increased by 11 percent over 2015. The prediction is that there should be a healthy population of turkeys for this season because of the relatively mild winter and favorable weather when the broods were hatching.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.