Saturday, May 06, 2006

Here fishy, fishy

Five a.m. is my usual waking time, so it was no problem to be at the boat launch area at 5:45 a.m. It was chilly, and I was glad that I have a warm jacket, scarf and gloves. By the light of the advancing day and skimpy moon, I stood alongside the ramp taking photos. I’m on the west side of the lake so the boats were silhouetted in the sun that was creeping up.

Some men were surprised to see me there and called out a questioning “hello?” One walked by and I said I was curious to see what serious fishermen did at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. He answered, “Gets me out of the house!”

Once the initial batch had launched, things quieted down and I walked up the ramp and chatted with the local man who was checking the teams in. Here’s what I learned:
--The tournament is sponsored by the Sumner Lake American Legion.

--They expect at least 30 boats/teams.

--The fish in the lake include Walleye, three kinds of Bass, Croppie, and two of three of the Sunfish family (Perch is one).

--The limit is 10 fish per team, per day

--Prizes go to the team that catches the largest (by weight) fish and also for the smallest fish. All fish must be alive when weighed.

--Also a prize goes to the team whose 20 fish (10 per day, weighed together each day) total the most weight.

The tournament mornings start with breakfast at the Volunteer Fire Department, followed by lunch there. Saturday evening is a beef brisket dinner at the American Legion Hall.

I saw one male/female team, and several father/young son combos.

Emy arrived, armed with some delightful groceries, about 2 p.m. The items that was the cutest/cleverest was a bottle of Chardonnay wine – Happy Camper was its name; she bought it at Whole Foods Market. The front label features a picture of a small trailer. The back of the bottle says:

“You all look like happy campers to me. Happy campers you are, happy campers you have been, and as far as I am concerned, happy campers you will always be. It’s so true. Whether you are out for adventure or snuggling in to that favorite spot, Happy Camper is a great compliment to the good times ahead. Open a bottle with friends, family and fauna!”

We enjoyed our wine outside while watching the deer browse nearby.
It is delicious wine, and I’m saving the bottle as décor for Jeremiah! It’s been a great day!

We took a walk down at the lake, saw lots of birds, and the local deer entertained us at suppertime. Emy also is an adventurer, though not in a motorhome. She has done a lot of sailing (California coastal area) so I played Eileen Quinn’s CDs for her. (Sue and Dave gave me these CDs saying, “she tells it like it is.” Here is one line in one of the songs that I especially like:

“This is the gift that the hardships bring;
I believe that now I could do almost anything.”
--Sailor and songwriter Eileen Quinn