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Big week at Black Bear Lodge

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:35 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:37 p.m. CST
Caption
Hailey Hilmes shows the 11 1/2-pound pike she caught in Ontario, Canada, during the annual PHS Sportsman’s Club’s trip to Black Bear Lodge.

Editor’s note: This is the second part of Lee Wahlgren’s chronicles of the PHS Sportsman’s Club’s 2014 fishing trip to Black Bear Lodge in Ontario, Canada.

The bus returned home safe and sound and a week later, the Kirgans, Wahlgrens, Tom Bickett and Damon Mercer, pulled into Princeton, tired but safe.

I reported that the Grandpas and grandsons caught many pike and walleyes during their week. Grandpa Vern Sondgeroth caught the biggest walleye at 6 1/2 pounds and grandpa Bill Griffin tied with the biggest pike at 18 pounds but the kids did well also. Our four girls along with Turner and Austin Jamison did well also. They traveled to various spots where they caught several stringers of walleyes and pike.

The third day, I took the girls to Suffel Lake, a portage lake known for good walleye fishing. We caught several pike en route to the cut where we started fishing for walleyes.

By the time we arrived to the cut, Brook Stowe and Brooke Ford had already caught several walleyes so McKenzie Cain, Hailey Hilmes switched over to jigs in order to try to catch up. During the fishing, Brook Stowe hooked a pretty big walleye. She fought it for several minutes but then the walleye bit through the line and Brook was disappointed since it was a big one. All in all, the girls and I had a good trip. It was a good portage.

The six of them shared the hot spots if one was catching more than the other boat was. As I mentioned in my last article, the highlight was when Hailey caught her 11 1/2-pound pike. Her boatmates stated, Hailey really got excited. I was just sorry I didn’t get to see how excited she was.

I know that Brock Griffin, Dustin Fultz and Zach Tuft caught quite a few fish in the capable hands of the grandpas. Another grandpa that caught a nice pike was Carl Lund. He always boats some nice fish each year and this year it was 12 1/2-pound pike. The rest of our friends did well also.

One exciting event took place in the girls’ cabin when they were ready to go to sleep. The girls heard some scampering and then some screaming as a mouse ran across Hailey’s hair. She woke everyone up and into the shelves with a potato Hailey had left on the table. I’m not sure how fast the girls got to sleep after the rodent raid.

The PHS bus headed for home, while we stayed for another week. The second day, I caught a nice pike, 15 pounds, 10 ounces. I thought it would hold up to win the pool, but two days later, John Kirgan’s grandson, Wyatt, hauled in a 19-pounder to erase my lead.

My brother, Ron, and Yog’s brother, Richard, decided to make it a trout day. They set up their two downriggers and took off to find some lakers. They had a good day. They caught and released lake trout weighing 25, 23, 21 and 20 pounds.

They also caught four more weighing 10-14 pounds.

We had pretty good weather and caught quite a few fish. The only negative things we experienced were mosquitoes. For the last few years, it had not been too bad. But this year, there were plenty. One other nuisance that bothered our sleep was a whip-poor-will. Anytime during the night, and I mean anytime, this pesty bird sang outside of our cabin.

Well, another year at Black Bear came to close. We had a safe trip, had pretty good weather and caught fish. When I got back and checked my emails, I had two that said, “Sorry I missed this year, but mark me down for next year.” Guess we’ll start getting ready for 2015.

Thanks to all who gave a helping hand.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR outdoor columnist. Contact him at pdub52@gmail.com.

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