Do you know how lucky we are to live only 10 minutes from two of the most beautiful lakes around? It is extra nice for me because I get to share these lakes with my husband Jay and my brothers Tom and David Ward and their families, which include their wives Diane and Annie and their children, Chase, Kim, Krissy.
Fishing is in our blood; our dad taught us how to fish, and my family has passed this love of the sport onto their children. If you know my family, you know we are very competitive, even when we fish. When one of us has caught something, the others must catch something too.
All in all, it’s about spending time together. After losing our sister Julie, I think it means even more to us to spend time together, just enjoying each other.
It’s about the beautiful South Dakota sunsets, the wonderful water fowl friends that fly above you while you cast out your line and the sound of the waves flapping against the shore.
This summer’s first fishing trip was a little different; we all had to keep our distance, so we put on our waders and headed out to one of our favorite places where the road and bridge that are underwater makes it a perfect place to cast. With that, the lines were in the water and the reeling and casting started.
The conversation included questions like, “what are you fishing with,” and, “do you have a steel leader on?” Also heard was, “you better, because the northern pike will snap your line.” Then, “where in the world did you get that rod and reel?” My brother David is always getting new fishing equipment to try them out.
It’s all about being in the great outdoors together, seeing who catches the first fish and the biggest fish. It was a great day to fish and enjoy my family.
David had to go back to work, so the next day Tom, Diane, Jay and I headed for the lakes again. Diane likes to go along with us, but she enjoys a nice walk, looking for different wild flowers and just enjoying being by the lake. She then sits in the jeep and listens to us chat. Tom was the first to catch a big one! It was a “big hog,” which is what we call those big northern pikes. I stopped and took some photos of it, but then the contest was on. Within 30 minutes, I thought to myself that I had a snag, but no, it was a big one and a fighter. I would reel it in, and it would run back out, this game continuing for quite a while.
“What do you have on there?” Tom kept asking.
“I don’t know, but it’s a big one!” I said.
Finally, I tired it out, and it came up. It was huge! A big hog!
After I yelled at Jay to come help, he came over with the net and scooped him up. It was so big we had to walk back to shore with it, being so careful not to lose it. Then it happened: I fell right on to my knees and my pole, but Jay saved the fish. I was not in very deep water, but my waders filled up with water. I was soaked. I always make things interesting!
It was a big northern pike. I loved pulling it in even though it wasn’t as big as the one Tom caught. Photos were taken, then back we went to the water to catch the evening walleyes. We had some great talks and lots of laughs while casting. Some may say it’s not about the fishing, but for my family, it is all about the love of the sport.
I love spending time with my most favorite people on earth, watching the South Dakota sunset, listening to the birds, hearing the waves hit the shore behind us and enjoying the most beautiful lakes I know, Lake Thompson and Lake Henry.