The Old Coach Sez



Looking at recent photos in the Messenger of large walleyes being caught in nearby lakes reminded me of my experience with a youngster who grew up in a nearby community.

I learned of this first or second grader who was really excited about fishing but was a little young to handle the rod and reel bit. He had gone fishing with members of the family a couple of times, but had been disappointed.

On my way to Duluth one weekend, I saw a sign in one of the far out northern suburbs advertising a “trout farm.” Checking into it, I learned that the farm had some holes that were full of young trout. The general public could fish these holes. A bamboo fishing pole with a bobber and hook like we used to use in the good old days was provided. We soon found out that the ponds were really full with active trout. The hooker was that you had to pay for every fish that was landed, no matter the size. This was understandable, the owners did not want wounded or dying fish thrown back into the ponds.

I do not remember the cost per pound, but it was pretty darn expensive. The fact that there were so many fish, and you had to keep everything you caught, meant that the time went by quickly. I don’t recall the bobber ever being in the water for more than 2 minutes before a fish was hooked. But what fun it was to watch this youngster pulling them in. It was a long trip, but we went three times. I cherish a photo I have of him with 11 trout lined up on the grass in front of him.

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