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TuffEnuff (US)

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TuffEnuff (US)'s Profile > Stories > The Bounty Hunters

The Bounty Hunters

Posted Oct 14, 2007 by TuffEnuff (US)
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 The Bounty Hunters Leaving Nashwauk by 7:00 am was sort of like sleeping in. At least for me anyway. I told Jeremy Tashcuk, who resides in Ft. Frances, Ontario, that I would be at his place by 9:30 and I was right on schedule. Actually, I was a little ahead. Going passed Ash Lake was absolutely breath-taking and I wished I had time to stop for a quick photo or two. Falls colors embraced the shorelines and a light steam was wafting off the water. All this was was even more pronounced by the sun's early rays. Dead calm, it was going to be a glorious day on the water. The Cows Going past a small herd of cows, I noticed that all were standing up, feeding, and facing north. Would the fish be just as hungry? This has long been a standing debate with my fishing partners, Bill Olson and my late Uncle Jack. Most everytime we'd see the cows, no matter where they would be, the discussion would come up. Back in my early fishing days, I used to keep track of everything and the cows just didn't fit into any reasonable deductions at all. The Fort Traffic was light at the border-crossing so I wasn't delayed at all and made Jeremy's house with plenty of time to spare. However, Mindy, his wife, informed me that Jeremy went out for an early morning deer hunt with his friend, Travis, and that he would be back at the house by 9:30. Not to worry. I headed to the local bait shop and picked up the minnows so there would be no more delays. I couldn't wait to get a chance at those Rainy Lake crappies. I think I must be spending a good deal of time across the border, as people are beginning to recognize me, much like in the small town that I live. While picking up bait, a man approached me saying "you fish with Jeremy don't you?" I agreed and told him of our plans. The man introduced himself as Scott Skiffstrom, who I did meet before but couldn't remember his name. His plans were very similar to ours only he was heading to a totally different area of the lake. While heading back to Jeremy's, I noticed someone waving to me at an intersection. It was Travis. That was good to see. At least I knew Jeremy was back home and ready to go fishing. Bounty Fishing Within an hour, the two deer hunters and I were plying the waters of Rainy Lake in search of slab crappies. They had to be of substantial size or we wouldn't bother with them, as we were in the hunt for big fish. Normally, it wouldn't matter but Jeremy and I were entered in the Bounty Fishing contest. This is a fairly new endeavor but it has gained the utmost in credibility by already paying out quite a large sum of money for anglers willing to compete. For only $7 per day, or $19 per week, you can compete with anglers from all across the country to see who can catch the largest fish of the week, with each week offering three different species. Last week it was crappies, walleyes, and smallmouth. This week it will be common carp, largemouth, and muskie. First place is worth $1,000, second - $200, and third - $100. Jeremy placed second a few weeks ago with a 13 1/2 inch crappie. That fish earned him $200 but that's nothing compared to some of the winners, like Aaron Wiebe, who has managed to bring home over $20,000 thus far. Wiebe, a young fishing guide from Manitoba, took advantage of the big catfish, crappies, northern pike, and muskies in his area and really cleaned up. As a matter-of-fact, he quit guiding so that he could spend all his time in search of winning fish and it has really paid off for him.
Basic Rules There are plenty of rules that make this event pretty much fail-safe and so far it has been. There is actually too much to write about in a short article but I will give you the gist of it. You have to be signed up before midnight of the day you will be competing and you can go most anywhere you want to fish (there are a couple restrictions). Payment is done beforehand when you sign up on-line by credit card. It's real easy. Abiding by legal fishing methods, when you do catch a fish that you want to register, all that is required is taking a couple pictures with a digital camera. The camera, by-the-way, has to be at least 4 megapixels or better. One photo is taken with the angler holding the fish and another is taken with the fish lying next to a ruler with "the Bounty Code" showing next to it. The code is given to you after midnight. Most anglers check on-line in the morning before heading out. At week's end, the top three anglers will receive checks to cash. Also, all throughout the week, there will be a listing of who is leading but they don't disclose the size of the fish, which makes it very interesting. That's it in a nutshell but like I said, there are a lot more rules and information that can be checked out at www.bountyfishing.com. Fishing We went on to fish all over and found the fish to be extremely tight-lipped. They were laying tight on the bottom and had to be coaxed into biting, making for a very difficult day of fishing. However, it was fun, never-the-less. Even when the fishing was slow, there was plenty of action to go around, like the time Travis yanked his bait out of the water and it came flying at me like a bullet. All I saw was a flash of chartreuse (oops, I gave away our favorite color) and the next thing I knew my left eye was smacked with a jig and minnow. It hurt but was worth it, as I am really getting a lot of mileage out of it. Actually, Travis is probably sick of hearing about it. We only caught a handful of fish but Jeremy did manage to catch one worth entering. At this point, I don't know if he placed in the contest or not. As I stated, the fishing was pretty tough. Those darn cows.
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Comments (1 comment)
dustyflair
dustyflair (posted Oct 15, 2007)
nice story
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