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Topics to discuss on a slow day on the lake

As a fishing guide who has quite a few trips under my belt, I have seen some “stuff.” I’ve had the great days, the not-so-great days and everything in between. 

One day this week I hit the water fresh after an overnight thunderstorm. Denny wanted walleyes and Jim probably didn’t really care what we caught. We fished walleyes, something I hadn’t done for a while (the walleye bite has been pretty tough on Gull Lake).

We ran, we fished, we ran, we fished and we got nothing! I even ran to Wilson Bay to the “bass hole” and got nothing. I talked with Tim Hanske and Bruce Meinz (our regular guides) and they had at least caught some fish. But we struggled…to the max!

You will have days like this if you fish long enough. After spot five or six the confidence really starts to diminish and I was wondering if we were even going to catch a fish. I am not the best when the fishing is tough. What do you talk about for four hours when all you have in the back of your mind is that you’re skunked! 

Patience, prayer, persistence. Prayer should have been first. I am only an OK  storyteller, I am not a great actor and I am certainly not a good joke teller so I do struggle on days like this. You can only tell the fish to bite so many times and can only do the walleye call so many times before you nauseate your customers. 

Finally, it happened! We caught a fish, a bass. Then another fish, a northern.  Then a nice walleye and I howled so loud my voice echoed through the hills of Ski Gull and I was probably heard on the other end of the lake. I had to. 

So, we had the two-minute warning in effect for about an hour and-a-half while we waited for another fish or two so Denny and his wife could both eat walleye for dinner. As it turned out, Denny might have had to mix in some “sides” but it will go down as one of those slow days on the water when I wished I was a better communicator. Isn’t that the truth, huh, Shelley? So, “What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?” Where’s my tractor?  

WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, or