HIBBING — Saturday I did something I had never done as a sports editor.
I went out to Carey Lake and shot some pictures from the opening day of fishing.
I’m not much of an outdoorsman, and fishing is nowhere near my radar, but I thought, ‘What the heck. Ride out there and see if anybody is wetting a line?
I literally haven’t fished in about five decades, but I do remember the times on Balsam Lake at Elmer Rinta’s (who was my grandmother’s second husband) cabin, throwing a line in off the dock fishing for crappie, bluegills or sunfish, maybe a northern or two and, of course, bullheads. If there’s one fish I’m going to catch, it’s either a bullhead or eelpout.
We’d also take the boat out trolling, but I don’t remember if we ever caught a walleye. I suppose we did, but my mind is foggy on that one.
But that’s neither here nor there.
When I got to the beach portion of the lake, I didn’t see any boats on the water, but I knew there was a fishing dock a few clicks to the north.
I turned onto that road, drove for a minute and saw a car parked by the dock entrance.
I got lucky. I found someone fishing. That’s not too surprising seeing as it was the opening day of the sport, but at least I wasn’t going to leave there empty-handed, or was I?
I hopped out of the truck, camera in hand and walked the length of the dock.
I’m sure the gentleman I was approaching was wondering, ‘Who the heck is that?’
I introduced myself, said I was taking pictures of opening day, and asked him for permission to shoot some shots of him fishing.
He was gracious and said, ‘Yes.’
He was using a nightcrawler on a hook, with one sinker. He would cast out and let the hook sink to the bottom of the lake, then he would slowly reel it in.
We talked about fishing and some other sports. He told me he was a member of the 1971 Hibbing High School baseball team, which played in the state tournament.
We also talked about Aaron Rodgers. He asked me where I thought he might end up, but nobody knows that for sure.
I’m sure all of our talking probably scared the fish away, but we had a nice conversation to kill the time while he was waiting for that strike on his hook.
What I noticed the most was how peaceful and serene it was so early in the morning.
I noticed how still the water was. It looked just like glass. No waves at all. You could see the reflection of the clouds in the sky. It was hypnotic.
With each and every cast, my subject waited patiently, but to no avail, then when we least expected it, something grabbed at the bait. He started reeling it in, but once he got it to the dock, the fish slipped off the hook and got away.
He had a couple of other nibbles, but no takers.
Once the sun started to come up over the horizon, that’s when everything changed on the lake.
The wind picked up just a little bit, and there were more ripples on the water, but nothing too severe to stop fishing.
There were plenty of ducks either taking off or leaving their watery homes. There was one turtle popping his head up every now and then, taking in the sights.
At some point, another car pulled up and two people got out of it, one man and one woman.
They came to the end of the dock, and he started trolling, casting out his line, then reeling it back in.
He was only a few short minutes into his day when something hit his line, but again, once he got it to the dock, that fish worked itself free and got away.
I waited there for a few more minutes, but nothing was happening.
I had to get to a baseball game, so I left them alone on the dock.
I sure hope they found some success after I left.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to photograph you on the dock. I appreciated it.
Like I told them, the closest I get to being an outdoorsman is when I’m on a golf course. They all laughed.
All in all, it was a wonderful morning.
Good fishing everyone.