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Fireside Lodge Weekly Fishing Report
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 9/8 to 9/14 2001
Fireside Lodge Fishing News Report 9/8 to 9/14 / 2001
Hello to all from Fireside Lodge in Northwest Ontario. For those of you who have read and looked forward to our Fireside Lodge fishing reports every week, I apologize for not sending our final report until now. With the last fishing week at Fireside Lodge being the same week of the tragic world terrorist act committed upon the United States of America on September 11th, and for respect to all who were directly and indirectly affected, I could not even think of writing about people having fun on their fishing vacation. At Fireside Lodge we were all deeply impacted, and all were glued to a small TV we brought into the lodge, watching in disbelief what we unfortunately all knew was true. At Fireside Lodge our hearts go out to all the people affected by this barbaric attack, and in turn wish the very worst for terrorists, and all the other bad people in the world which leads to the degrading of society as a whole.
The reason I decided to write this last fishing report for the 2001 season is that I truly believe fishing is a wholesome activity, and it along with many other activities which bring goodness to people, will also bring that same goodness to society, and hopeful will help in making our world a better place to live.
Well the last week of fishing at Fireside Lodge, was a fun filled week with a lot of great fishing and catching. A group of 7 friends returned to Fireside Lodge for their second time headed by group organizer Ken Sticken, from Burr Ridge, IL., Mark Knudson, from North Barrington, IL., Ken Bertant, from Burr Ridge, IL., Steven Buda, from Willow Springs, IL., Floyd Rotchford, from Cicero, IL., Bob Kubas, from Leawood, KS., and Tim Dillon, from Olathe, KS. Despite the fact that this group had to leave a day earlier than expected, in the four days they were here they caught a lot of nice size Northern Pike, with Ken Bertant catching the largest in this category landing a MONSTER Pike, a Northwest Ontario Master Anglers Award Northern Pike at 44 inches. WOW!!!!!! Ken Sticken and Mark one day had a great time catching Smallmouth Bass and discovering tube jigs. Another day these two had a fabulous day landing a lot of big Northern Pike, and several Muskie, and Mark caught a Huge Muskie. On this day Ken almost lost his rod while leaving his lure dangling over the side of the boat as he was helping Mark with a fish. A Muskie came out and grabbed the dangling lure and Ken took a quick grab for his rod and saved it & caught a nice Muskie. Now that's great fishing. One day while Ken Bertant, Steve, and Floyd were fishing together they caught 12 big Pike and had lots of other action, and on another day Bob and Tim landed 14 nice Pike and had a number of other fish on and lost them during the fight. Fun was had by all in this group, and we look forward to their return to Fireside.
Long time guests of Fireside Lodge, Lloyd Morton, from North Lawrence, Oh., and Bill Blondheim, from Massillon, Oh., were back to chase big Muskie and Pike again. These two had a great time catching plenty of fish on some days, and fish out fooling them on others. On two days they had many many Muskie follows but only caught a few, and Bill was impressed when he caught a Muskie after doing a figure eight 30 to 35 times. Persistence paid off in this case. The other four days they did plenty of catching, with one of these days being fabulous, catching 30 plus Northern Pike almost all over 30 inches, and having 14 Muskie on and landing about half. Great going guys and thanks for coming back to Fireside Lodge
Bill Bartley, from Springfield, Mo., was back for his 4th fishing trip to Fireside Lodge, and this time he introduced Fireside Lodge to his father in law, Bernie Duchinsky. Well Bill's experience of the lake system paid off, as they caught a lot of Smallmouth Bass their first day, and caught 36 bigger Smallmouth on the second day, with Bill landing a Northwest Ontario Master Anglers Award Smallmouth at 18.25 inches. Great catch Bill. Their third day they devoted to fishing for toothy critters, and had loads of action, and landed 16 very good size Pike, and each caught a Muskie, and it was Bernie's first. Congratulations Bernie. The rest of their trip was very good, and these two even took on the challenge of one of our portage lakes, and did very well catching 6 Walleye between 20 to 26 inches. WOW! what great size Walleye.
First timers at Fireside Lodge John Fox, from Limon, Co. came with his father Howard, from Strasburg, Oh., and friends Bruce Hoffman, from Limon, Co., Sam Green, from Sterling, Co., and brothers Henry Ratzlaff, from Limon, Co., and Donald Ratzlaff, from Wichita, KS. John was the trip organizer and I remember talking to this pleasant man on the phone in the winter as we were making arrangements, and his goal of this trip was to have his father catch a Muskie. Well during the week a lot of fish were caught by all. Their first day the group caught 20 good size Pike with John landing a fat 35 incher, and one Muskie was caught by John. Bruce and Sam one day landed 11 great size Pike, with Bruce , better known as the singing fisherman, landed a huge 37.5 incher. This same day John and father Howard also caught 11 big Pike, and one Muskie caught by John, his third of the week. Henry and Don one day paid their dues on the water, but Henry ended up landing a 39.75 inch GIANT Northern Pike, just missing the Northwest Ontario Master Anglers Award by .25 inches. Darn, but he did win the big fish pool that evening. These two also had a special event happen on the very next day with Don landing a 33" Muskie without even hooking it. Yes, that's right Don did not hook the fish, as he discovered when landing the fish it only had the leader, not the lure in it's mouth. Easy to unhook this way Don, but the method is a little questionable. This whole group was fun, and had lots of fun as expected, and as for John's wish for his father to catch a Muskie, it did not come true, but what did come of it was a lot of great memories to be remembered for a lifetime for both, while trying. Even though our wishes sometime seem not to come true, in reality they really do without us even knowing it, and I'm sure John would agree. I am confident Howard's day will come to land a Muskie, and John and Howard will have a lot of fun memory making while trying.
Charles Ledin, from Madison, Wi., father Robert, from Oregon, Wi., and grandson Mike Kilton, from Minneapolis, Mn. were at Fireside Lodge to also make memories. Chuck had fished here many times before, and wanted to show Robert and Mike what Fireside Lodge had to offer. Well they did very well for a short three day trip catching many nice Northern Pike, and had a great last day catching some great size fish. They also caught some nice Smallmouth with Mike really doing well one day on surface baits. That's exciting fishing. Thanks for coming, and hope to see this trio again some day.
John Eakle and his son John, from Summerville, WV., came to Fireside Lodge for their first time with Joe Pauley, from Blue Creek, WV., and James Murray, from Hurricane, WV. During their stay they had three fabulous days of fishing for Northern Pike and Muskie. On their best day they landed over 45 Pike and Muskie, had lots others on and lost with many follows. The amazing thing is every fish caught was 30" or over, and they caught fish (2) up to 36 inches. That is impressive Pike and Muskie fishing. During their stay they did not fish for Smallmouth very much, however James one day landed two Northwest Ontario Master Anglers Award Smallmouth over 18", and on another day John also landed one of these 18 inch beauties. Great time was had by this group, and hope to see all again.
Dave Rothermel, from Jackson, Mi., along with friend Mike Brunner, from Perrinton, Mi., were at Fireside Lodge for their first time also. Dave was recommended to us by his brother Mike Rothermel, who has been to Fireside Lodge the last two years. Well it seems like Dave and his brother Mike were born with fishing rods in their hands, and Dave and Mike Brunner had a fabulous fishing trip. Their first day getting familiar with our lake system, they caught 12 Smallmouth, 4 Pike and 2 Muskie, 1- 32" & 1- 34", and had 12 other Muskie follows. This was just a warm up as the next day they landed 14 Muskie and 16 Pike all over 30 inches, with the biggest Pike at 36 inches, and biggest Muskie at 38 inches. They also had a lot of other action in the way of missed fish and follows. Great day guys. Another day they caught over 35 Northern Pike, and another they caught 18, many over 30", and lost as many as they caught. Still another day, while catching many Northern Pike and Muskie, Dave was trying to land a fish and all of a sudden another big fish slammed into their boat in an attempt to strike the fish Dave was trying to land. That's not all folks, again while Dave was fighting a 34" Northern Pike he had an absolutely HUGE Muskie attack his 34" Pike and cruise with it in it's mouth all the way back to the boat before letting it go. WOW what a great experience. I need not explain how excited these two were when explaining these events at the lodge that evening. Thanks for coming to Fireside and hope to see you two again.
This is what fishing in a wilderness atmosphere is all about. Excitement, wildlife sightings, talking in the lodge in the evening, starry nights with wonderful northern light exhibitions or shooting stars, spending time with a family member or friend, laughs, pictures, the fun of the dinning room at supper, and the quiet anticipation of the day ahead in the same dinning room at breakfast, beautiful sunsets, the call of the loon, the soar of a bald eagle or osprey, and the anticipation of seeing a moose or bear, watching the beaver work or otters play. All of these things, with many many more, all add up to memories, which is the biggest catch of all at Fireside Lodge. This is our final week which is the conclusion of our 12th season. It is hard for Audrey and I to believe it is our 12th year at Fireside Lodge because time has just raced by, going faster each year. However the experiences we have had, and memories made will stay with us forever, and we hope that all of our guests over these 12 years also have some memories to reflect upon from their stay at Fireside Lodge. It is because of our guests Audrey and I are still here at Fireside, and we want to thank all guests for giving us the opportunity to remain at Fireside Lodge. Thanks you, and remember a memory is a point in time which never ends, and just keeps on giving pleasure to the person or persons who made that memory.
That's the conclusion of this weeks fishing report, and to the 2001 season. Hope to see all in 2002, and until then "Keep On Fish'n". Alan