Walleye Waters

Written By: Hannah Corneliusen  

In the big state in Minnesota lies the greatest lake of walleye fishing. Lake of the Woods is 85 miles long and 56 miles wide. It includes 14,632 islands throughout the lake and 65,000 miles of shoreline. Lake of the Woods is connected to two Canadian provinces; Ontario and Manitoba. I grew up on this lake as my father had his own fishing business called “Reel Adventures Fishing Service” which he took over from my grandfather. My dad has been fishing this lake for 20 years. On a bright summer day, my dad, his girlfriend, my boyfriend Austin, and myself headed out on the big lake to one of my dads favorite spots in hopes to bring some supper back. Once we got out to our spot, we put our rods in the water and started jigging. Looking across the lake, all you could see was blue sparkling water and a clear sky for miles unless you were feeding the pelicans your snacks. Lake of the Woods is home to some of the biggest walleyes and my dad has never really had luck on catching huge fish on this lake. He catches enough to eat but no record breakers. On this very day, my dad caught the biggest fish he had ever reeled up into his boat. At that moment I knew it was a huge fish as my dad told me I needed to reel up my rod to help him with this big fish. I grabbed the net and he struggled to reel it in, but eventually we were able to get the fish into the boat. After measuring the walleye with the yardstick, it showed 30 ½ inches which is the biggest walleye my dad has ever caught. I was so happy that I got to experience him catching the biggest walleye he had ever caught. It made me so proud to see my dad not give up after all these years. This fish now hangs on the wall at home as a trophy even though it took 20 years to find. My dad will continue to go back out everyday to hopefully catch one even bigger. 

Me and my dad on the day he caught his 30 1/2 Walleye
Lake of the Woods Warroad, MN

Cape Cod Striped Bass

Over the last 3 years, Cape Cod Bay has called me to its dark blue waters, sandy beaches, rough tides, and vast amounts of roaming saltwater fish species. During the hot summer months, many fish species migrate from coastal southern states to feed on baitfish in the cooler waters off Cape Cod. One of the species of migrating fish, and arguably the most sought-after fish for fishermen in the area, is the striped bass.

After a July 4th night full of fun and fireworks, my girlfriend, her father (Paul), and I prepared for a fishing trip the next morning. As the sun rose on July 5, 2021, and the fish began to feed, we had a feeling that today would be the day we would catch some fresh fish for dinner. Leaving the boat ramp, Paul navigated the boat towards the deep waters in search of mackerel, a striped bass’ favorite snack-sized meal. In just a few minutes, the livewell on the boat was full of mackerel, and we began our search for the aggressive schools of striped bass.

After catching our bait, Paul found a giant school of striped bass moving right underneath the boat. Within seconds, we dropped down our live mackerel and began patiently waiting for a bass to take the bait. While the boat drifted, I felt an aggressive tug from a fish swimming right beneath us. After a 12 minute long fight, the tired striped bass was boat side and ready to be brought aboard, and Paul scooped the fish into a large net. Excitement filled us all.

Myself with the 43-inch striped bass. Credit: Paul M.

Striped bass are highly regulated with catch limits and size restrictions in Massachusetts. This 43-inch bass was over the legal size to keep of 35 inches for recreational fishermen like myself. These large fish are only allowed to be kept by commercial fishermen within the fishing industry, so we released this fish safely.

There is definitely some level of satisfaction behind catching or harvesting the very food you eat, especially when it comes to fresh fish. After a long day on the ocean, the most refreshing thing for me is eating a nice meal, packed with nutrients from the striped bass we caught that morning. However, since I am primarily a catch-and-release fisherman, releasing this fish gave me a sense of happiness. As my dad has told me since I was a young fishermen, “let them go…let them grow”.

– Written by: Bryce Miranda