Big Fish   Walleye Report   TomK Remembers   Where's the Beef?   Webpage Beginnings

The Crazy Eight posing on Howry

The Big Fish by ScottB
This years big fish award goes to an unlikely 2nd year BearLaker.  MikeMorrison pulled in the winning Northern Pike during the middle of the day from Gem Lake.  The Crazy Eight had been fishing on an overnight to Howry and Gem. The first day fed us all well, and the second day on Gem was without much success.  To have so many of the greatest fisherman in the same group and to pull so few fish from the lake was a travesty...  It must have been the overwhelming influence of the rookies and freshman veterans on hand that leveled the playing field.  Nonetheless, during our lunch break, we all got a show as MikeM and ChrisS paddled to meet up with us.  Six fishermen had already pulled canoes up on one of the large, flat white rocks that line the shore of Gem.  Most of us were already half way through our sandwiches by the time MikeM and ChrisS were getting close.  They had to canoe  across the entire lake, from the rock ledges on the East side of Gem to the lunch rock near the west side by the falls.  They were trolling across the lake when it happened...  MikeM got a snag about 40 feet off shore. 

He was pretty disgusted by this point... The only thing on his mind was food... So he pulled and pulled at the snag.  I could hear the line pour out of his reel every time he cranked up on the rod.  MattK and I, watching closely, becoming  convinced it was not a snag when we saw the canoe and the "snag" drift 20 feet closer to the rock on which were eating lunch.  We yelled out to him that he had a big fish.  He would feel the rod, pull tight, pull out line, pull out drag, look at us and cry about his snag.  Finally the fish started to move, and then everything disintegrated.

The rest of us sat on that rock watching the entire event unwind out in front of us.  Soon, he and ChrisS started to worry about the size of the net... Matt Kline and I looked at each other and ran down to a vacant canoe with a big-lake boat net inside.  We paddled out to help them.  MattK sat confidently in front.   I feared the shaky hand of a rookie net in ChrisS.  Luckily, neither of them let us down.  With the grace and skill of a seasoned netman, ChrisS scooped up MikeMs winning northern on the first try.  Definitely a net job that JimP could take lessons from.   The hills sides echoed with hoots and hollars of excitement and congragulations as the two canoed back to shore... proud as a pair of mother hens. Here is the result of their labor.

A BEAUTIFUL (  )" Northern Pike.  It took this years biggest Pike award easily.  Good Job, Mike.

The Walleye Report by ScottB
Walleye fishing was poor this year.  Only three walleye were caught the entire week, and one walleye could barely stand on its own.  JimP caught the first walleye on the first day.  It was a handsome 21.5" walleye caught out by the hump West of Bald Rock.  Later in the week, JamesH caught another Walleye barely 10" long one evening out at Rocky Channel.  Although this was good news for the future Walleye fishing on Bear Lake, it was bad news for the rookie struggling for the winning Walleye.

I went out Walleye fishing almost every night.  And every night I came home empty handed.  Finally, on Friday night after everything had been packed and ready for the early morning pick-up, ToddS and I headed out for Rocky.  After about 15 minutes of dragging a crawler and jig head on the West side of Rocky Channel, I finally landed a nice 20"+ Walleye.  I thought for sure I had the winning Walleye.  We fished as late into the night as we could before the pressure to present the Walleye to JimP for an official measurement became too unbearable.  I wanted so badly to beat the pants off JimP and steal the prize money on the very last day of fishing.  That thought guided me home through the treacherous rocks of Rocky Channel.  When we arrived at the island with the bass boat horn blowing and Todd yelling for people to wake up... it was only 11 PM but most of the men had already retired for the early pick-up in the morning.

ToddS and I headed for the maid dock where we were met by JimP and MikeG.  I hauled the Walleye out of the live-well, and laid it at JimPs feet with a big smile, confident that this Walleye would rob him of the prize money and bragging rights.  He crouched down with tape measure in hand and much to my surprise, my walleye was an inch shorter than JimPs.  I was crushed.  JimP gloated and retired into his cabin a happy man.  I released my fish into the cold waters as JimP had done on the first day.  I went to bed a disappointed man.  Next year Jim.... the Walleye prize is MINE.

TomK Remembers
I have to admit that the way our trip started out I wouldn't have believed that Bear Lake '97 was one of the best trips ever.

The trip started by my getting lost in Cincinnati trying to get to Matt's house.  Brian and Nick were already there waiting for me so we could pack the Tahoe and wait for Matt to get off work so we could head North.  As it turns out we didn't leave Cincy until 6:30 pm Friday night.  However, we had to make " a quick stop in Dayton " (these were Brian's words) to pick up a rain suit and tackle box.  After arriving in Dayton and finding only the pants to a rain suit and NO tackle we headed to the local Meijer's to "refurbish" Brian's tackle box.  Of course ALL of us ended up buying at least one more Plow Jockey or something else we couldn't make the trip without.  But after that it was clear sailing to Bear Lake.

I only had one unfortunate incident; but it did take Jim off the hook for the netting screw-up of the trip.  Jack and I were on Little Lake (and to quote James, "they oughta blow Taps over that lake") and Jack brought the only BITE we had all afternoon to the side of the boat.  It was a pike... not as big as Mike M.'s, but every inch of 30+.  I got the fish in the net and twisted the net to bring it in the boat and it kinda "fell out" of the net.
Next year Jack!

Where's The Beef?
All of the bigfish stats, euchre results, etc are with my father in Atlanta. He is in North Carolina for the week so sometime next week (9/10) I will have more posts.  In addition, I will not have access to a scanner until next week so pictures will not appear until next week.  I have not heard much from the rest of you.  Perhaps you suffer from the malady that i have avoided  --  Bear Lake Burnout!!  Hold on to your memories, I will be extracting them soon.  Also, keep an eye out for this web page posted on the AltaVista search engine!  I just have to figure out how to do META tags in HTML!

WebPage Beginnings
This year was the first year we were on-line.  For those of us there were Internet savvy, we had new inspirations and motivations... a new way to prepare and excite us for Bear Lake.  For those of you that were new to the internet, this web page hopefully opened you up to the value and promise of the mysterious World Wide Web.  I had a great time putting it together with the help of other Bear Lakers.  I know someday, this page will connect all of the Bear lakers together.  Even if Bear lake is not our destination, this page will help to connect us across all these miles.  To date, Bear lakers have come from over 11 different states.  Had we lived in the same town, this page would be almost useless.  But time and distance makes this type of connection invaluable.  I have known Matt Kline for over 15 years, Jim Perrine for almost 20 years.  This page brings those years and many more miles together.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

This web site started one late night when ToddS was over at my house.  We were drinking beers, surfing the web and dreaming of Canada when I told him I would love to put together a web site for Bear lake.  It was still early July.  We had over a month of lure buying and picture browsing before meeting in flint.  Something came over me and I decided to search the web for hosting servers.  I found three, looked at their services and decided for the money, that OLM.NET was the best deal.  I signed up that night and the next morning I had space for the Bear Lake site.  For the next five days, I worked tirelessly to learn how the site works and to learn how to write web pages.  Eventually I unraveled the mystery and you see the result.  I hope the rest of you help with this site so it grows beyond my view of Bear Lake and the experiences therein.  Please email me your stores, thoughts, ideas and memories of Canada. What follows is the incomplete and pale story of Bear Lake 1997.