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(l-r) Boyd Tarney, Bill Stark, Bob Stark, Jimmy Teusch
(l-r) Boyd Tarney, Bill Stark, Bob Stark, Jimmy Teusch
I don’t know what it is, about standing around a truck with a boat in the back that makes you feel good. I guess men have been grouping up to go fishing or hunting since the beginning of men. Maybe it’s as deep seated as any of the emotions that make us human. Whatever, it’s just good to have the truck loaded and the boat packed with coolers and fishing gear.

We had a short crew this year, as the demands of modern-day living kept some of the guys home. There are always graduations, work schedules and personal conflicts that naturally come up year to year so the number of people going on our annual Bear Lake Trip varies anywhere from 3 to 10. Four was the magic number this year, Jim Teusch, Boyd Tarney, Bill Stark and I.

The ride is only about 11 hours, so with fair weather we made it to the boundary waters of Ontario on Monday evening, June 11. We stayed in a motel in Esponola and Tuesday we boated the 17-mile back to Big Bear Lake.

We were the first group of the season to arrive, so the cabin needed to be opened. There were the usual maintenance procedures; a water line placed in the lake, plumbing repairs and spider removal. Gas refrigerators and water heaters needed to be lit and the water tower needed filling. But up in Ontario, Canada, the chores feel more like play than work and soon we were all sitting on the deck, looking out over the waters of Big Bear, listening to the call of the loon, bull frogs croaking and the mating call of the whippoorwill.

Big Bear Lake is a haven for lake trout, walleye, northern, and smallmouth bass. You can troll, jig, bounce crawlers and cast to your hearts content, but if you want more of a wilderness experience, the back lakes are the place to go.

On Thursday, Boyd and I traveled to Bassoon Lake. It’s a double portage and includes a boat trip across High Lake. We packed a two-horse outboard and once we were on the lake we set up for trolling. For some reason the northern wouldn’t cooperate, but the smallmouth bass were hungry and full of fight. We caught and released all we wanted.

Bassoon is not a new lake for us, as we have fished there many times, yet, it still holds a special allure. You can drift the shoals and islands and troll the banks and breaks and just about always catch fish. You can sit in the middle of the lake, turn 360 degrees and never see another boat, pier or cabin. Once in a great while you may see a float plane drop down from the heavens and taxi to a favorite group of shoals to fish off the planes pontoons, but they never stay long. They catch their limit and are gone.

Monday morning found us closing the cabin and packing our gear for the ride back home. We loaded the boat, made the trek back to Lang Lake and then hitched up for the ride home, feeling refreshed and completed for another year.

The Waynedale News Staff
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