Photo: Jakob Kuzniak of Selkirk with his catch from the Red River.
Hi fellow fishers.
In a haze of floating snow urged about by a cool breeze last Saturday I rolled over the flat ice pack on Lake Winnipeg’s south basin. Houses and trees on the Matlock shore shrank to dark lines in my rear view mirror. It felt good out there as I passed through village after village of ice shacks.
In tme, two large white trucks beside some portable shacks caught my attention. Pulling up to them and leaving my truck I heard good-humoured shouting between the tents. The zipper door of the closest one opened and the face of a young, lean, brown haired chap became visible saying, “Hi, I’m Doug Frost.”
Doug was direct and easy to talk to. He told me the “Frosts” of Ontario and of Manitoba were having a weekend get together enjoying ice fishing. As we got to know each other a fishing experience that happened years ago on Crystal Lake popped into his mind.
It seems he was boat fishing and during a lull in action he decided to dress one of the fish he had caught. With the fish on a board on his lap and his knife poised, the fish jackknifed into the air in an arc that was going to put him back in the water. By accident the fish’s tail struck knife blade clipping off apiece as it disappeared overboard into the drink. Three days later in the same place at almost the same time, Doug enjoying another day of fishing, caught that same fish. This time it didn’t get away.
A while back I met Jakob Kuzniak and his wife Lindsay from Selkirk coming off the Red River. While they didn’t have a story for us, he was nice enough to show his catch. Thanks guys.
In the middle of last week not far from where I met Jakob and Lindsay, I ran into a couple of real characters Brian Pederson and Jeff Skelton. Between fits of laughter they told of their friend, Al who was a slim, quiet, careful, dark haired guy with a kind face who wasn’t too sure about fishing but wanted to try. The boys used to like summer fishing in a small pothole lake south of Thompson and decided to take him along.
It was a hot sunny day and after walking through the bush pestered by black flies they got onto the water in an aluminum boat they had left there. I don’t have to tell you the fishing is good up north so you won’t be surprised when no sooner had Brian and Jeff threw out their lines while asking Al to toss out the 20 pound anchor, they both caught jack fish. Al heaved the anchor overboard on the same side as the guys were reeling in their catch and everything went nuts. Lines were crossed and Al not realizing the anchor rope was wrapped around his ankle followed it over the gun whale. Up to his waist in water with angry jack fish wrapped around him, he looked up pleading at Brian and Jeff for help.
It took a while and they did haul Al back into the boat but only because they could see their jack fish would follow since the lines they were hooked onto were wrapped around his legs.
The next winter the boys were going ice fishing not far from Thompson and they let Al come along. It wasn’t until they were pounding over scrubland, swamp and pockets of flat ice pack in their 4×4 that Al said he was afraid to go on the ice. The boys smirking, kept looking straight ahead trying not to laugh saying, “Al, we’ve been on one lake ice pack after another for an hour.”
It wasn’t until Al caught his first fish that afternoon that he quit shaking.
When visiting anglers on the south east side of Lake Winnipeg I cannot get past the South Beach Casino. The food is so great and invariably I meet folks with wonderful fishing stories. One such couple last Friday was Tim and Angeline McIntyre of Lac du Bonnet. Both had the look of weathered outdoor strength about them so I asked if they had a story for us. Angeline was quick to tell when they were fishing at Point du Bois a few years ago in a calm late fall afternoon she caught a giant jack. She got so excited she started screaming and cursing. Neighboring boats with friends and family became so embarrassed they left. Well, you have a fun week fishing, bye now.