As many of you know, I enjoy practicing outdoor sports in a canoe. This fall, no one around me has a bear tag, so a week where I usually hunt bears or help someone harvest a black bear is open. Two weeks ago I made the decision to go to Lake Michigan and try to catch a salmon in my canoe and that is the subject of this column.
I chose Sheboygan as my fishing spot and have to admit I was very excited to try and fight with the salmon from my fantasy world while being pulled over the big lake. Now here’s a reality, behind the scenes, facts.
Upon arriving at the Sheboygan Pier and Marina, I realized that I had left my âflyches / flashing spoonsâ salmon tackle box. I couldn’t find my headlamp and the great reality; you have to pull hard on a kayak paddle 100% of the time for your lure to come out the right presentation for a salmon or trout to hit it.
So it’s around 2 p.m. and I’m at a six boat pier so I can take my time rigging my canoe with rod holders, propane lighting and setting everything up so I can net or gaff a fish and sailing the high seas. This style of fishing that I have never witnessed with another person in a canoe is suicidal, death on my knees. I ride a cooler like riding a horse and my knees pretty much support me and ride every wave.
Fishermen who come from fishing always talk to me and give me good information because they see me as a zero threat. I spoke to a guy who had caught an 8 pound rainbow trout and he actually gave it to me. Thoughts crossed my mind, a few pictures of “my trophy”, a vivid imagination and I could live another day. In all fairness, not once in 32 years have I lied in this column, and I wasn’t going to start today.
So the rainbow stays in a cooler at the truck level, and I start paddling and shooting crankbaits. One is an orange double seal Rebel crankbait that was just given to me while I was in Canada by my good pal Pete Hagedorn who is 83 and donates some of his gear.
In the end, I pull two cranks, I have no electronics, and I’m in the world of charter boats that circle in shallow water and I don’t catch any fish. I went up the Sheboygan River and was impressed with the way this town is laid out and saw dozens of fishermen throwing off the shore or soaking spawning bags in hopes that the fall rise of the spawning chinook would do upstream.
Just before dark I lit my lantern and paddled out to sea with waves about one foot with one rod straight back and the other to my right on a planer board. For me, it is very obvious that I am the subject that is talked about the most on the water by other fishermen because I am like a dinosaur, my species is extinct.
Everything was perfect in my world, and I was in the fifth hour of paddling when, by God, I hit my number one goal and that is, I got hit on Pete’s crank. with the planer board. Before you get too excited you have to turn around and go down the wind, then beat your fish. I couldn’t have been happier when I landed a 5 pound coho near dark. I was so happy that I pulled out a cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon from my cooler and watched the day turn into night.
I started paddling again hoping to have a 4 year old king but tonight it wasn’t meant to be.
I had been on my knees for six hours when I got out of the canoe and hobbled over to the Chevy Hotel for a wonderful nap in the backseat. Late in the evening and I have to admit this time I was not very comfortable, there was a knock on my window and a flashlight on my face, a male and female Sheboygan cop wanted to know what I was doing. was doing. I told them to fish for salmon in my canoe and look in my cooler. They were very cool, and I want everyone to know that a year ago, when some fools were anti-cop, I was pro-cop and always will be.
I came back to shore in the dark and left the next morning in the dark except for my propane lamp. I really thought I would hold on to something big that would pull me miles off for several days, a fantasy I often have, but instead I put six more hours on my knees I hit shore, loaded and when I reached Fond du Lac I was so tired that I had to pull over like now and sleep in a parking lot in Culvers. Live until you die! Sunset.