Reeling in the season

On an unseasonably warm late October day, canoes slid into the calm waters of Boulder Lake Reservoir and sliced easily through the shimmering calm waters. This inaugural late season walleye fishing trip would give everyone the change to experience the Northland’s fall beauty from a unique perspective and bring together students from many backgrounds to experience a great Minnesota past time.

For those who haven’t done it before, fishing from a canoe can be a harrowing experience. Between trying to keep the boat straight, handle a line, and watch a fishing pole, you definitely have your work cut out for you. Some of the students who had decided to trek out on this late season RSOP fishing trip were experienced anglers and others had never handled a fishing rod. The hop to land a late season lunker was high among the group, although others were maybe a little bit more realistic.

“I could write the book on catching weeds,” said mechanical engineering student Conner Pariseau as he strung a colorful jig to the end of his line. No matter though, everyone was excited to get onto the water and have fun.

Dave Neslon is an experienced angler having fished the waters near his home in the Twin Cities. He and Pariseau teamed up and were the first on the water, hopeful of a successful day in front of them. Pariseau is also an experienced angler, he has been fishing his whole life.

“That’s a big reason I came to UMD, because it’s just a hop skip and a jump from this,” Pariseau said as he pointed out at Bolder Lake.

He has fished walleye his whole life.

“As I say, it’s gods fish.”

It wasn’t just experienced anglers however, who were out to enjoy the fishing. Andrey Maskaev is originally from Russia and fishing for walleye is a new experience for him.

“In my native city, waters are completely different,” said Maskaev. “It’s a different type of environmental system.”

Moving to Minnesota was an opportunity not only to pursue his graduate studies in chemistry, but also an opportunity to explore the Northland.

“I like everything related to outdoor activities.” Maskaev said.

As the group stopped for hot chocolate mid-day on a remote campsite on the lake shore, everyone regaled with stories of catching weeds, snagging rocks, and mostly catching everything but fish. Andrey was the only one who was able to walk away with bragging rights. Earlier in the day, he had hauled in a northern, the only fish caught by the group that day.

“It was about this big,” he said as he spread his hands apart 13 or 14 inches.

Graduate student Nicole Heinks decided to come along with one of her co-workers and admitted she was hoping to catch something, but really was just out to have fun and spend a beautiful fall day on the water.

“Canoeing and fishing, you can’t go wrong.”

BY Eric Lemke

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