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Fishing Lake Winnipeg Longterm

Time 0:04:46


When I was 17 years old I went with my father winter fishing. We fished sauger. And this sauger in Icelandic was called svartenpick meaning, black pickerel. One day, I said to my dad, I'm in the bonspiel but I'll just run home, curl the game and then run back. My dad didn't say anything, but when the curling match was over, I was happy to see that dad had come home. He figured that running back was a little much.

In open water, we fished the nets for 5 days and had to pull them up, bluestone them on Friday night, spread them up on reels, and dry them, to kill the bacteria. This of course was very inefficient because we only were able to fish five days. In contrast to today, when the nets are nylon and plastic, and they can be left in the water all season long in fact.

After two years of winter fishing, I decided to go into education and spent twenty-seven years as a high school principal. But fishing was always in my blood and when I retired, I decided to go back on the lake. I started fishing as a helper with Helge Jones, a retired fisherman from Hekla, and did that for about two years. Then I decided to buy a quota, recruited my wife full time and my three sons as helpers. My three sons today, one is full time and two others are part-time as fisherman.

Last year Ron and I set, the first day of the season of course and went out the next day. Well, it was a strong, easterly wind. Just as we left the harbour, my motor conked out and although we had an anchor on the boat, we were on the rocks in moments.

We desperately tried to move the skiff around the side, unsuccessful, and unfortunately, no fishermen came. Wave after wave is going over the side. Finally, a fisherman comes to try to give us a hand. He is able to latch on, and Ron was able to get into the other boat. I am at the back and suddenly the boat flips and I am underneath, which is no problem because I was always an expert swimmer. The three of them were able to pull me into the boat and rush me into shore. Luckily the ambulance was there and they stripped me of all my gear and wrapped me in warm blankets, rushed me to the hospital, where every few minutes they were taking my temperature through the rectum until about 11 oclock, the nurse comes in and says I'll take the temperature the regular way. And I says, you mean to tell me my temperature is back to normal? And she says yes it was. In fact, I play duplicate bridge in Selkirk in the afternoon and I was able to go to my bridge game.

To me, fishing has a tremendous amount of positives- you're your own boss, nobody to tell you what to do, you can come and go as you please and if you're a hustler, it's a great life. It's a healthy existence, the fresh air, it just can't be beat.

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