Golden an­gler

Hit­ting Lake of the Woods with Bobby Hull a treat

Winnipeg Sun - - SHOWBIZ - CRAIG STAPON

I had the op­por­tu­nity to spend a few fab­u­lous days with ex-jet , No. 9, the one and only Bobby Hull fish­ing Lake of the Woods! Bobby was telling me that no one ever told him about how awe­some this body of wa­ter re­ally was.

That re­ally sur­prised me as I was un­der the be­lief that ev­ery­one on the planet knew of Kenora and the awe­some fish­ing. Bobby has been com­ing up with me and my crew for about 10 years now. He re­ally en­joys hunt­ing for big wall­eye and he sure likes to eat them with his buddy and former line­mate Ulf Nils­son. These two guys can eat as much wall­eye as I have ever seen in one sit­ting.

Ulf was busy and did not make the trip this year. We did miss him as his steady hand usu­ally puts a few keep­ers in the live well.

Bobby is a su­perb an­gler and I will tell you that he is as good with a jig as he was with his big slap shot. That curved stick made those puck fly, now his favourite rod, a Fen­wick 6"6’ is bent just like that big curve. That’s just the way he likes it. Bobby is 79 years young and sets the hook on those wall­eye to cross their eyes. It’s not of­ten he misses a bite. In fact once in a while he falls asleep in the boat rod in hand.

At first it kind of con­cerned me that we might loose a rod. Boy was I wrong! He does not miss a hook set even while snooz­ing. I have watched him ham­mer the fish with a full sweep while I thought he was asleep!

Bobby can tough it out even in the worst weather and never com­plains about foul weather or a rough ride. Thanks to my buddy Si­las Wald­ner for lend­ing me his big Lund Fish­er­man for my Bobby Hull tour. It made things much more pleas­ant than rid­ing in my bass boat. This way we were out of the wind and able to stay dry and warm.

Each morn­ing we started with a hearty break­fast of wall­eye and eggs, Bobby would have it no other way! We then hit the wa­ter look­ing for our limit of wall­eye. Thanks to Tom and Hu­bert for let­ting our crew camp out at his camp. Ac­com­mo­da­tions were out­stand­ing and we all ap­pre­ci­ated the warm fire place each damp day we fished.

We had to move around a bit to find the wall­eye as Fall turnover was tak­ing place and the fish were not in their tra­di­tional ar­eas. Af­ter some search­ing, we found a school off a long rock point at 25 feet. Bobby and I worked the area me­thod­i­cally and even­tu­ally ended up on the other side of the point out of the wind.

Now nor­mally you would think the wall­eye would be staged on the windy side, this was not the case. We found a school key­ing in on a huge school of shin­ers. I know what they were as the wall­eye we caught were in full feed mode and puk­ing up shin­ers all the way to the boat. In fact, a few times I man­aged to pick up a live one the walleyes threw up and used it to catch a few fish as soon as it hit the bot­tom.

We fished for a to­tal of six hours and man­aged to shake up a grand to­tal of 101 wall­eye and we went thru six dozen min­nows and a 1/2 pound of leeches. The smack down was on and we were both pretty ex­cited about it.

Lake of the Woods pro­duced so many fish that day it was kind of crazy! I be­lieve our grand to­tal for the day was over 140 fish with a few bass , perch and crap­pie in the mix­ture. I know only a few places on earth that can pro­duce a dream day like that.

Bobby and I cer­tainly had other trips in the past where we have caught big­ger fish Yet for sheer num­bers I think it was our best day ever. I can’t tell you how awe­some it was to spend the day in the boat alone with Bobby. We didn’t talk hockey, in fact spend more time dis­cussing jig se­lec­tion and fish lo­ca­tion. It was a spot on the spot thing and ex­pe­ri­enced an­glers know what I’m talk­ing about.

Boat con­trol was crit­i­cal and even dif­fi­cult with the wind blow­ing and the waves crash­ing into the boat. Spot lock on the Minnkota Ter­rova did help but con­di­tions were dif­fi­cult. I want to thank Paul Dun­can and Dave Devries for their as­sis­tance guid­ing our great group of guys. Paul you make the best beer bat­ter fish ever!

Till next week “Keep your lines tight.”

Win­nipeg Jets leg­end Bobby Hull shows off his prize catch.

Hull and Craig Stapon show off one of the big ones they caught dur­ing their Lake of the Woods fish­ing ex­pe­di­tion.

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