Plenty of highlights at 18th fishing outingFor 18 years, the smiles have always outnumbered the amount of fish caught. That notion may have been rivaled Monday as the Silver Bay Veterans Home launched 13 charter boats in Knife River, giving 45 veterans another chance to hit Lake Superior and land a big one.
For 18 years, the smiles have always outnumbered the amount of fish caught. That notion may have been rivaled Monday as the Silver Bay Veterans Home launched 13 charter boats in Knife River, giving 45 veterans another chance to hit Lake Superior and land a big one. It was a good day for fishing as 82 were caught to the delight of the veterans and the charter crews.
Just ask Deb Williams, who came in just before noon for a shore lunch with a grin that wouldn’t stop. She landed the trophy of the day, a 16-pound lake trout. “Wow, it’s beautiful,” she said when posing for pictures with her Reel Escape crew. It’s the biggest fish she’s ever caught and one that required “cranking and cranking” as she landed it.
It was a good year for the annual charter excursion, which included veterans from the Silver Bay home along with 10 each from homes in Hastings and Minneapolis along with an army of volunteers.
Vietnam War veteran Don Recore from Silver Bay said the 5:30 a.m. launch was much better than a cold and drizzly event last year. On Monday it was cool but partly cloudy with little wind. He reeled in five fish in his third time out for the excursion. “That was fun,” he said Monday while under a tent enjoying a walleye and lake trout lunch. “After the first three, I was worn out.” It didn’t help that the left-hander has to work a right-handed reel.
He said he’s woodsman from “The Range” but his dad did take him out inland fishing a few times. Nothing compares to the Lake Superior experience, he said. “This is the kind of fishing I like.”
The charter captains and their crew members, along with the veterans home volunteers, take obvious delight in offering the excursion. They donate their time and look forward to the event each year and giving veterans something to cherish.
And they are appreciated all the more when they put the veterans on the fish. The total count Monday was 82 lakers, rainbows and salmon — a high-water mark, Silver Bay volunteer service coordinator Ward Wallin said. There were 92 fish caught in 2008, but that was with two more boats, he said
Williams, from the Silver Bay home, was ready to let everyone in her family know about her big catch. She took some guff from a fellow angler and how he caught more fish, though none as big as her 16-pounder. “I’ll take this one,” she said with more giggles.
One Wednesday, two days later, “she is still smiling,” Wallin said.