Thursday, August 11, 2011

family fishin' tournament

Please accept my apologies, dear readers, for making you wait so long for this post.  Sometimes I feel like that commercial where the swimmers are in a pool of caramel, and it takes a long time to accomplish anything.

To the fun!  We arrived in Bemidji last Wednesday, and our first order of business was gathering the family at Heather's 'house on the hill' for a night filled with yummy appetizers, free flowing beer and wine,  Dave's Pizza, family memories, and Savanna's soon-to-be-famous whoopie pies.

Heather presented my parents with a beautiful photo album of their life together, here my brother Kelly and his son Kaleb and I reminisce:

The party ended with plenty of time for all of us to get a good night's sleep (well, except for Riley and Charlie, who I suspect stayed up far too late playing video games...).

Having discussed the rules and points system the previous evening, we met up at the Nymore landing on a gorgeous summer day to start the fun.  If we had specially ordered the weather for the day, it could not have been more perfect-blue skies, a slight breeze to keep us cool, and enough sun to give those of us with very pale skin an amazing sunburn.

To accomodate all of us, we ended up in three boats.  My brother took my mom, sister Heather, and his wife Angie, my nephew Kaleb took his sister Savanna and his girlfriend Kaitlin, and his brand new puppy Koda,
while my dad piloted the boat carrying myself, Riley, Charlie, and Mike.  I may look calm, but I am totally focused on finding me a lunker...

Two young boys men, growing up way too fast!  And as you will note, safety first....

Charlie was the first in our boat to land a fish, a nice little perch.  Here my dad is making sure his minnow is ready to be cast back out into the clear blue lake.  Of course by then Heather had already called to let us know she had caught the first fish of the day, which earned her 10 bonus points!

My dad hauls in a walleye.  While no record setter, it earned him 5 points before he returned it to the lake to grow a bit bigger.  Walleyes were hard to come by this day, but of course my dad found them.

Kaleb shows off his latest catch.
Angie found a perch too, but insists on Kelly removing it from her line.  She wasn't raised to pull them off the hook, like Heather and I were.
While their boat is proud to show off how many they have caught, we are holding our numbers close.  Hey, who needs to know?
A rare photo of my brother actually SMILING.  My mom looks dubious.
One of the 20 perch I hauled into the boat (yes, it's the legal limit).  Of course, I am not counting those that were released or got away, just before being hauled in...

While it took Riley a little longer to find the fish, once he did he was hauling them in just like the rest of us.  Look at my dad, so proud!
My niece Savanna is either taking a tanning break, or monitoring the depth finder...

Mike should have probably received a prize for the smallest fish caught all day, we should have saved it to use for bait!
Mike is such a good sport.  He was not raised in a fishing family, but he gamely joined us for the fun-and caught plenty of fish!

We all made it back safely, with many fishing stories to share.
A great day on the water!  My dad collected the most points, but of course refused to be acknowledged as the big winner, so Charlie in second claimed the prize of a vintage fishing lure.  My mom caught the biggest fish, a really nice size walleye, and naturally declined a prize too.  My nephew Kaleb caught the only northern (I was so bummed, I love catching me a blue racer!)   It was all in fun, and after getting the boats out of the water and the fish cleaned we headed to the Corner Bar for burgers and beer and a perfect way to end our day.

My dad was in heaven, the first time he has ever had the whole family, all together, out on the water doing the thing he loves best.

More anniversary posts to come!
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  1. How fun to have a family fishing tourney~ a perfect idea! The photos of everyone lined up on the dock... priceless.

  2. My favorite picture is the one of Mike with his prize fish! The perfect day; what a great idea. Maybe my family could have like a meatball throwing contest for our next big event!


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