An Outdoorsman’s Journal-,
By Mark Walters
Yoopers for a Week
Hello friends, The Canadian border is closed to non-essential travelers/ crossings. Ever since 1982, I have flown to Shultz Lake from Red Lake, Ontario, with family and friends, for seven days of fishing and good times.
We have a revolving crew, meaning every other year for half our guys, we had to figure something out in the U.S., and we found a really cool place to stay in a great area.
Timbers Resort on Lake Gogebic, near Bergland, in the upper peninsula of Michigan, would be our home for a week, and folks, I have to tell you, Tim and Sarah Long run a great place to stay; everything works, it’s clean and peaceful.
Saturday, July 4 • High 93, Low 67
One of the unique things about this trip, is that all eight of us – Jeff Moll, Dick Schuster, Trent Schuster, Roger Frank, Gary Gray, Mike Walters, Tom Walters and I, went to Poynette High School.
Three of the guys who are not relatives, have always been buddies with either Tom, Mike or me, and Trent is Dick’s son and my nephew.
We have a deer camp together, duck camp, go on ice fishing trips and do the Canada thing. Like our group, this 10-cabin resort had other groups, that in all honesty, hoped to be in Canada, but are fully aware that still having a good time together is always an option.
My brother, Tom, received the award for traveling the farthest, which is Denham Spring, La. But, Timbers Resort had groups from Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and some truly world class fishermen.
So, here is the rough news: the night before we arrived, there was a major mayfly hatch and that, with several days in the 90s, put a serious hurting on the fish bite.
We fished out of three boats, and put in about seven to 10 hours a day, per person. Our goal was to do well on walleye, with a major side goal to harvest a few of what I feel is the largest body-sized perch anywhere in the Midwest.
Our techniques were using planer boards, which are not popular with some of the guys, drifting with leeches and crawlers, when there was enough wind, using slip bobbers, and anchoring and fishing for bluegill.
For the most part, we switched partners with regularity and after day two, all we could do was hope that the fish were going to start to bite. What was really cool, is that even though it was the weekend of July 4, on Michigan’s largest inland lake, there was hardly any boat traffic and everyone you did see, was very polite.
Once we realized that, at least for the time being, the fish bite was not happening we started doing a lot of porch time, which in reality, is a good share of the reason we were doing this trip.
In other words, whoever’s day it was to cook, would cook for the gang and in the middle of the day, the rest of us would sit on the porch, have some beverages and laugh a lot. For the most part, we would fish the last three hours of the day, and after dark, we would play “mess with your neighbor,” which is a very fun card game.
Gary is four years older than I am and as a kid, always thought of me as Mikey’s snot-nosed younger brother. In that game, Gary destroyed me and loved doing it!
One night, Jeff was super crazy, as he always is late in the evening, and the following morning, he cooked his “group meal.” We should have called the Bergland Fire Department, because he forgot about it, then served the charred remains to seven guys who all of a sudden, were not very hungry.
The fishing really was slow, but we were all wise enough to know it was just a period of time and on the last day, I fished with Roger. Roger and Julie just created a vacation home at Pine Cove Resort, on Castle Rock Lake.
Roger wanted to learn how to use planer boards and we had our best day of fishing, catching walleye, perch and crappie.
Adventures like this do not always work out exactly as you dream, but I will return to Gogebic and when the Canadian border opens, I will be back to Shultz lake.
It was cool to see so many people relaxing on their porches! Sunset
Roger Frank on the last day at Timbers Resort. (Inset) The front porch was one of our main hangouts on this adventure!