Tuesday, July 12, 2022

 Fireside Fishing Flash 2


Stephen Thomas with son Gage returned for their 2nd time and brought for the 1st time Dave . DOA and in just 6 hours of fishing these three caught well over 100 Smallmouth Bass having 5 triples and over 10 doubles, and all the Smallmouth were 17 to 20 inches. Amazing fishing like Thomas and Gage had in 2019 but for Dave it was his best ever fishing for Smallmouth Bass. First full day they caught 71 before supper and were off the water for over two hours in the afternoon because of T-Storms. This Magnificent Smallmouth fishing just continued having a day they did not think possible catching 200 Smallmouth Bass before having supper in the Dinning Room. They knew the count was accurate as Dave was using a clicker counter. They all enjoyed a great meal of minestrone Soup, barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes, carrots with chocolate cake and ice cream, had good conversations in the lodge and retired to their cabin for the evening after a very satisfying day. This three generations trio continued to have fabulous Smallmouth fishing catching a total of 827 in the 6 days of fishing, not even counting the countless Northern Pike catches and bite offs and several Muskie they caught while focused on Smallmouth fishing. Upon departing Stephen secured his reservation for the same dates in 2023.



Jerry Amer, Bill Calhoon from Columbus, OH returning for their 19th year along with good friends Glenn Babka and Rob  from
As in the past they had another unreal fishing trip actually wearing themselves out catching fish they were a little slow in getting on the water their last day which is not normal. They caught countless Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike and some great Muskie catches. As for Smallmouth they caught      trophy fish between 18-20-inches and Northern Pike up in the upper 30-inch range. As for Muskie Bill caught a very large 42.5-inch Tiger Muskie and in one day Jerry and Glenn caught 9 Muskie Glenn catching his largest ever measuring 43.5 inches while Bill and Rob caught 3 Muskie and Rob caught his largest ever at 42 inches. What a great Muskie Fishing day. The rest of their trip just got better and better catching countless Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike and Jerry sent me a summary (below) of only their Trophy Smallmouth Bass each person caught, only the largest Northern Pike of each, and the total number of Muskie each landed and the approximate total of fish caught in 5 days. Before departure Jerry & Bill, as always, left their tackle for next years trip.


Fish Size Quote From Jerry Amer
What a great trip!  So nice seeing you and Audrey again.  We all had a blast!!
Here is a list of our fish totals. The smallmouth numbers are all over 18”.  The pike are just our biggest ones.
16 smallmouth
42” musky!!
38” northern!
8 Smallmouth
5 musky, 1 was 43”!!
22 smallmouth
42” northern!!
3 musky, 1 was 38”!
38 smallmouth!!!
5 musky, 1 was 34”
Approximately 540 total fish!!
We have attached a few of our best photos. 

Jim Pim, brother Richard with son Doug and grandson Tyler, and good friends Steve and Nick from Shell Knob and Carthage, Mo and Frisco, TX. This is a group of good fishermen and as always caught large numbers of Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike during their 4 days, with all catching 20 to 40 fish per day each along with many Trophy award Smallmouth Bass between 18-20 inches. They also caught some Muskie and Steve had a special experience doing so. As Steve was attempting to catch a Smallmouth he had sighted a Northern Pike came in a chase it off and in a blink of an eye a Muskie chased off the Pike before it hit Steve bait however he did end up hooking and catching the Muskie. 3rd day all did great with numbers and size on Smallmouth with Richard and Nick knocking it out of the park, Richard catching over 90 and Nick with at least 50 and all 90% were 17 to 19-inches. Last day they took their traditional group picture on the dock and all went home having another fabulous experience at their special fishing destination in Canada.

The Apt Brothers Doug and Chris from Crete, IL returned for their 3rd time. First day they did great catching Many large Smallmouth Bass each landing several trophy fish between 18-19.5 inches. Second day they had a good day fishing for Muskie making contact with fish and landing a few nice Muskie. 3rd day they also caught some great Smallmouth on day two but also contacted a good number of Muskie. They ended their four days of fishing with a terrific Smallmouth Bass day catching many BIG fish and lots of Pike. In a follow up email quoted from Chris when sending us a few pictures he said, “Thank you for a wonderful time last week Doug and I had a great time. I have attached the pictures that Alan wanted of the fish.”

Best of Friends Dan Skolza, Sugar Grove, IL and Don Landbo, S Elgin, IL returned for their 19th year and it was a phenomenal one not only in their record breaking fishing / catching but in them being able to socialize with long time Fireside Lodge friends they developed over the last 19 years after a two year pause. Don emailed me his and Dans total catches which you can view below  along with some great pictures.



Quoted from Dons Email:
Thanks so much for a great trip. I won't get too detailed on where we were and such each day.  Overall totals were:
3 muskie to 32"
61 smallmouth-6 master up to 19.5"
321 pike

4 muskie to 32"
71 smallmouth-5 master to 19"
420 pike

Grand total of 880. Mind blowing. 

Pleasure talking with you both in the evening.
Don L

Jack and Steven Starnes, father and son, returned for their 19th year picking up where they left off first day catching 50 Smallmouth. 40 Northern plus 2 nice Muskie. and day was all out for Muskie catching having a great day catching four. 3rd day they caught all the Smallmouth they could catch and all on top water fishing. 4th day was all about Muskie a they found them catching 7 total for the day. Their last few days they caught countless Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike and most of the Bass were caught the way they enjoy the most, on surface lures. Both left saying, “See you the same dates in 2023”. 

Father & Son Paul and Tony Capecchi From Inver Grove Hgts and Woodbury, MN consecutive year guests since Tony was 17 years old now 39 returned for the 5th year with Tony's wife Jody and 7 year old Joe. Paul wrote me a very nice email, along with photos, describing their total family experience at Fireside so what better way to hear about this for our Fishing Report readers that straight from Paul so here is his exact letter to us:



Hello Audrey and Alan. 

Thanks again for making our Fireside vacation so wonderful.

Below is my usual summary of our time at Fireside.

Tony, Jodie, Joe (age 7) and Paul Capecchi always love their time at Fireside Lodge,  and with the Canadian border being closed for 2 years, they were especially happy to be back again this year.  Paul was more anxious than usual due to the flooding around International Falls and with the new Covid computer application required at the border.  But we made it through with no problems.  As we approached Fireside we had a fun nature experience as a black bear greeted us in middle of the road.  We stopped the car and the bear reared up on his back two legs and put his nose, mouth and front feet on each of the windows as it slowly walked around the car.  That was a really unique experience.    Upon arrival at the Lodge,  it was great to see Audrey and Alan in person.  We quickly moved into cabin 1 down by the lake and enjoyed it all week.  After a typically delicious dinner we went out fishing on the main lake catching a good number of bass, including a 18 inch master angler Smallmouth by Joe.   

Our 1st full day we all headed out to Muskie Lake and had fun with everyone catching many, many Northern Pike. 

On day 2,  Tony and Paul went to Closs Lake and had a great time on one of their favourite familiar lakes.  Tony caught 2 nice Muskie and 2 nice Pike.  Paul also caught 2 Muskie and a 19.5 inch Smallmouth Bass.  We had a great time on Closs while Jodie and Joe enjoyed their time in the cabin and lodge. 

The rest of the week we all went fishing each day on Muskie Lake with our typically great results.  The strong winds seemed to really trigger the Pike bite to be especially tenacious.  But this year,  we made a concerted effort to not just focus on the amazing fishing,  but to also appreciate every aspect of our Fireside vacation.  Just enjoying nature's beauty,  the companionship of friends and family,  and of course the delicious meals, all took on added value after being away from Fireside during the Covid Pandemic.     

Our last day included watching an Eagle swoop down and pick up a Pike just 15 feet from our boat.  We ended the fishing day with a triple as Jodie, Tony and Paul all caught Pike at the same time.  To be honest though, with the great fishing at Fireside Lodge, that is really not hard to do. 

We said our good-byes and made plans to return again next year.

Paul Capecchi

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