Just a few of the Fish Tales catches.

Hooked

Catching this guy was a blast!

This is the best way to spend a work day. Our fishing and hunting guru, Shel Zolkewich, invited me to join her, local anglers and a bunch of media to Travel Manitoba’s annual Fish Tales event. The morning was chilly, but everyone was heatedly anticipating getting out on the Red to reel in a few feisty channel cats.

The guides are ready.
The guides are ready.
Free stuff from Cabela's. The sweatshirt came in handy.
Free stuff from Cabela’s. The sweatshirt came in handy.
Our fish master, the indomitable Shel Zolkewich.
Our fish master, the indomitable Shel Zolkewich.
Lockport was our first fishing spot.
Lockport was our first fishing spot.
Waiting for a nibble.
Waiting for a nibble.
True to their feline namesakes, channel cats love to eat shrimp.
True to their feline namesakes, channel cats love to eat shrimp.
C'mon, bite already!
C’mon, bite already!

Our fishing guide, Steven Wintemute, took Ron Cantiveros, Susie Parker and myself out. We tried a few different spots, but weren’t having much luck. Just before giving up for the day, my line started to move. Ohhhh yeahhhh. I got a nibble that quickly turned into a helluva struggle — at least for this non-angler. Holy smokes do catfish put up a fun fight; they really have no interest in getting in the boat. Go figure.

Steven made sure I did most of the work. I huffed and puffed trying to pull that sucker in. Then after we got Fred (yes, I named him) in the boat, Steven showed me how to pick him up properly, then said “he’s all yours.” Um, ok. I picked up Fred and got all of his greasy smelliness all over me. I gave him a kiss, smiled for the camera and threw him back in the river.

Getting the hook out.
Susie helping get the hook out.
My catch! I named him Fred before I tossed him back to his home.
My catch!
Just a few of the Fish Tales catches.
A few of the Fish Tales’ catches.

Back at the docks, we all sat down to regale each other with our new fishing stories while dining on a delicious pickerel shorelunch courtesy of Danny’s Whole Hog. I can already foresee our “fish tales” growing in size as time passes.

Travel Manitoba’s CEO, Colin Ferguson, received the award for the biggest fish as he hauled in a 39.5″ hog of a cat. He also hasn’t stopped talking about that cat all week!

Chowing down on a delicious shorelunch made by Danny's Whole Hog.
Chowing down.
Colin celebrates his win.
Colin celebrates his win.

What a fun time that was. I left Selkirk with flushed cheeks for the rest of the day. Partly due to a wind burn on my face, but mostly due to the afterglow of a thrilling adventure.

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