Take it from me: If you have the slightest interest in fishing, but have never been — give it a try. I recently connected with Linda Miller and Kevin Thompson of Bluewater Anglers, who kindly brought me aboard for an experience I’ll never forget.
It was Day three of the 2016 Bluewater Anglers Salmon Derby, and we met at Pier 10 Marina in Port Franks, bright and early at 7 a.m. before heading out onto Lake Huron. It was a quiet first three hours, until one of the lines started dancing.
“We got one!” yelled Kevin, who quickly handed me the fishing rod and said, “OK, Sue. It’s yours!”
Kevin coached me every bit of the way. We had the creature almost all the way in the net when it hurled back into the water.
“Oh, crap…” I blurted out. “This is like losing the football at the one yard line.”
“That’s OK,” Linda responded. “It happens.”
Soon enough, the rod shook again.
“Here’s one… keep reeling… pull the rod up a bit… move back,” they told me.
There it was! My first catch – a Lake Trout that Kevin estimated at nine or ten pounds. Linda radioed out the breaking news to the other boaters, who cheered me on.
I learned the hard way not to press the fish right up against yourself for the picture, unless you like fish crap smeared all over your clothes.
Overall, we caught six trout, prompting some uncertainty as to who would eat it all. Sitting on Lake Huron, about ten miles from shore, I called the Inn of the Good Shepherd.
“Yeah, we’ll take it,” I was told. “If you can clean and fillet it.”
My first entry in the Bluewater Anglers Salmon Derby was a Lake Trout that weighted in at 9.18 lbs. We posted with our catch, but this time I held the fish a good ten inches away. Then, Dick Bournais, Bluewater Anglers president, shook my hand.
I owe a some huge thank-yous: to Linda and Kevin – the very best fishing instructors. Linda also assured me that peeing in a cup in the middle of Lake Huron is an acquired ability. Bluewater Anglers treated me like a longtime friend. Mark Minnie, co-owner of Pier 10 Marina, cleaned, filleted, and packed the 50-pounds of trout and donated several pounds of ice. He also treated me to a Coors Light while he did all the cutting. In the morning, I crated the fish to the Inn.
“Oh, this will all be eaten up,” they said.
Ed Holubowicz, vice-president of Bluewater Anglers and co-chair of the derby, said anyone interested in fishing can call Bluewater Anglers at 519-344-9821. Fishing charters are also a great option.
So, to anyone who is merely thinking about trying it, “go fish!”
Susan Roberts is a mental health worker who loves the Sarnia life.