This Issue: On-Line Used Rods and Reels, Pet Musky, New Eco Pro Items, Sunline 2 for 1, Much More…….
For some reason fall always causes me to think about our pet musky.
I really don’t know why, but I think it’s about subconscious thoughts like the dread of winter, the attraction of spring, and perhaps lingering remorse for selling our cabin when our kids replaced boys with fishing as their favorite pastime.
For many years we had a summer cabin outside of Sioux Narrows, Ontario on Lake of the Woods. It was a great place and most of you who read our newsletter know that many of my stories come from experiences when we owned this wonderful cabin. Dogs being chased by bears, camping trips that turned into small nightmares, and various other tales that were true adventures came from our many trips to “the cabin”.
Being on an island and about 7 miles from “town”, each spring we would go up as soon as the ice went out to open up the cabin, doing the inevitable repairs and maintenance that were necessary after the harsh winters that preceded spring. As much work as this trip usually was, it was also welcome, as we knew that once we got through this “hell week” it would usually be smooth sailing for the rest of the summer and prepare things for some great experiences soon to come.
One year the ice went out in mid April which was fairly early as events such as this go. Dixie and I decided that instead of doing a solo trip, we would take the three girls along even though it would mean taking them out of school for a week. We had always subscribed to a philosophy that “life experiences” were just as important, and at times better, than classroom time. Here was a chance to implement this philosophy real time.
Once in Sioux Narrows we dug the boat out of storage and loaded it up with our supplies and provisions and hit the water headed for the cabin. As usual, there was some apprehension and perhaps a wee bit of dread as to just what we would find after the winter had visited our property. Would the boathouse still be standing? Did we lose any trees? Were all of the windows and doors still in place? Had an errant animal or passing stranger made himself at home inside? The 30 minute trip out to the island always left adequate time for such pre-arrival dread.
As we rounded the point we saw the cabin. It was still there. The boathouse was still standing. The doors and windows looked to be intact. Most trees we remembered were still standing and eagerly awaiting spring. So far so good. We approached the boathouse and I idled the outboard as we slid up to the dock cleats inside. I instructed the girls and Dixie to “hold on” as I secured the boat, making sure that we had some slack in the dock lines so as we unloaded numerous boxes and bags the boat could relax and float up to its normally much higher level.
Being the “dad” I ordered each person to grab a box or package I designated and together we all marched toward to cabin, still carrying some apprehension along with our boxes and bags. Soon enough I had the cabin door lock unlocked and forced the swollen door open. The gang dutifully marched in single file to relieve themselves of the supplies and provisions. Thankfully all seemed well. Just as we had left it last October. No animals, no big damage, and no visitors other than the Ontario Provincial Police who left a hang tag on the door knob assuring us that they had been by during the winter.
As Dixie turned on the heat, I made a quick turn through the cabin to catalog any maintenance that needed to be done. So far it looked like this was going to be a good “opening” as my list was fairly short on first pass. We might even have time for some fishing, hiking, and other activities usually reserved for our next trip up.
The girl’s duties were assigned and included making the beds, cleaning the cabin, and wiping down woodwork and counter tops which, after 6 months, showed varying depths of “winter dust” that was inevitable after a long and often times windy winter. Dixie set about washing windows as well as supervising the girls, who being pre teens, needed some direction along with encouragement, “Dad can’t take you fishing until you get this done”, she reminded them frequently.
While the cabin was abuzz with female activity I set about checking on the tool shed planning on “de-winterizing” the mower, chain saw, and various gas power powered tools necessary to cabin life in the great north woods. As I entered the shed I saw a mess. Some animal, some fairly BIG animal had decided that the tool shed was the perfect place to spend the winter and things were not good. Bags of concrete, along with a corner of the shed had been gnawed open. There were big “droppings” everywhere, and my tidy, so-perfectly-arranged storage shelves were unrecognizable, various containers and cans of parts and fasteners once so neatly stored strewn all over the floor. What a mess!
I sat about cleaning up as well as trying to determine what went where along with who or what had been responsible for this disarray. Time passed and I just didn’t notice the hours ticking away until Shannon, our youngest, came in the shed and exclaimed, “Dad, there’s a big fish in the boathouse.”
“Yes, I know honey. Fish are always in the boat house. That’s because there’s water in the boathouse and fish live in water”, I said in what I suppose was surly a condescending, “pat on the head” way.
“Dad, I know fish live in water. But this is a BIG fish and he’s in the boathouse under the boat,” Shannon persisted. “Can we try and catch him?”
“Maybe later. I’m trying to get this mess straightened out now,” I said.
“But dad, this is a BIG fish. I think he’s the kind you and Uncle Keith fish for all the time.”
Now Keith and I were lake trout fishermen, but I knew there was no way a lake trout would be in the boathouse, so I again dismissed Shannon’s remarks. “Thank you, honey. I’ll take a look when I have time.”
“Dad, I can see this fish on both sides of the boat – at the same time.”
That got may attention. I stood up and we both headed for the boathouse. I told Shannon to be real quiet as both of us slowed down and crept through the door. And sure enough, there she was. An absolutely amazing, absolutely huge musky lazily treading water under the back of our Lund Mr. Pike boat. Just as Shannon had promised, her head was showing out one side and her tail sticking out on the other side. Best of all, she seemed unconcerned about either Shannon or me or the fact that my mouth was wide open and my eyes no doubt bugging out with utter amazement. Only then did I remember Keith and I feverishly fishing musky one week last summer.
I had seen big musky before, but in over 35 years none this big. Without exaggerating I’m guessing she was north of 60 inches long. Not so wide in the girth, but musky slim down over winter and then bulk up as summer progresses, so this was expected. Still, she was magnificent and looked to be the picture of a very healthy fish.
I tapped Shannon on the shoulder and signaled her that we should go up to the cabin and get her sisters and Dixie so they could see our new visitor. Once out the boathouse door we sprinted to the cabin to tell the others.
“There’s a big fish in the boathouse,” Shannon blurted.
“Yes, I know honey. Fish are always in the boat house. That’s because there’s water in the boathouse and fish live in water,” Dixie responded.
Shannon rolled her eyes. I chuckled. “Dear, I think you and Jennifer and Kristy need to come down to the boathouse and see this fish. It’s special,” I said.
They all stopped their chores and soon all five of us were running down the hill to the boathouse. Once again we crept in and sure enough, our big musky was still there, not having moved much at all. Now Dixie, Jennifer, and Kristy were equally amazed. This fish was awesome!
Over the next week we continued checking the boathouse several times every day and almost without fail our big fish would be there, sometimes in one spot, sometimes in another, but always in shallow water where the sun would warm her up. By weeks end we had given her a name, “Mona the musky”, and soon developed real admiration for this beautiful fish.
It had been a great week and being “introduced” to Mona was by far our most memorable event. Each year after this anticipation of seeing Mona replaced the once inevitable apprehension about what condition we would find the cabin in after winter. And every year without fail Mona would show up. She would sunbathe in the same spots and occasionally roll her eyes upward to acknowledge one of us staring with awe and respect at her.
Once Mona became “family”, I never looked at musky fishing the same, and to be honest pretty much hung up my musky fishing gear. Perhaps in the back of my mind I feared I might catch Mona, but I think more due to respect for such a magnificent fish. As I got older I knew just how much effort it took to live a long, productive life. For a fish to be Mona’s size, she was definitely an “old girl” who not only deserved my respect, but obviously had earned it. She was special and certainly a fish none of us in our family would ever forget.
As I said earlier, we sold the cabin once our girls interest waned and it became harder and harder to get up there due to typical teenager activities. And boys. I still regret selling the cabin and there are many days when I wish we still had this cabin. I miss the fresh air, the fishing trips on the lake with those I love, and the suppers filled with laughter and stories. And I really miss Mona. Mona OUR musky who taught me some life lessons simply by showing up every spring.
We have some new arrivals this issue to share with you as well as some Very Exciting news about our trade-in rod and reels. Please take a look below for what has arrived and news on how easy ordering used rods and reels has become. We also want to remind you that inventories from many of our manufacturers are somewhat slim right now, so if you’re one of those folks who are early Christmas shoppers you may want to take a good look at our web site and do some early shopping. This will be the best way to make sure you get the perfect gift, whether it’s for a loved one or that special person called “you”.
Thanks to all of you for your confidence and friendship. The beauty of fall always reminds us of just how fortunate we are to have all of you as customers and friends. Beauty comes in many forms, not the least of which is your continued patronage and trust.
Used Rods or Reels Can NOW BE ORDERED On-Line with All Other Items……………………..
Yea, we know buying a used rod or reel from us has been a real pain in the past. You had to call us and there were times that by the time you called what you wanted was gone. Well, No More! Every used rod and reel is now on-line (and can be searched by model or manufacturer) and can be put in your shopping cart and will go through the same check-out process as our new items. Plus, it will count toward free shipping! And Best of All we have just updated our listings and there is some Fantastic Stuff at Great Deals Now Available. Whether you’re looking to Save Some Money or trying to find that obsolete reel or rod that you loved long ago, be sure to take a look at our list of Used Rods and Reels that customers have traded in recently.
We suggest you type in the word “used” along with the manufacturer to search. You can also include the model number, but keep in mind model numbers may or may not show up depending where you put dashes, spaces, etc. (we even have issues with this formatting from time to time). Right now there are over 500 used rods and reels, so the selection is as good as it has ever been!
Just a reminder than any used rod we sell is thoroughly inspected, cleaned, tested, and carries a 30 Day “No Questions Asked” return privilege. Many of our used rods fall under the manufacturer’s Lifetime Warranty, so a used rod that you save between 30% to 50% on can be replaced with a brand new rod if you break it in many instances.
Our used reels are cleaned, inspected, and tested as well and also come with a 30 Day “No Questions Asked” return privilege. Many of the reels we get in are almost new and we have a tough time figuring out if they were ever on the water. They’re in that good of shape.
Folks, we’ve made it as easy for you to SAVE SOME BIG BUCKS and get some Great Gear and now do it all On-Line. Please take a look at our entire Stock of Used Rods and Reels. You will be surprised by what you find!