“Fish Story” from a Reservoir Contest
Winner – Mark Davis, Tilley, Alberta
My story begins as it does every year on May 8th, opening day and also my father’s birthday which is a tradition for us to be out on the lake, rain or shine on this day. This excellent fishing day takes place on Crawling Valley Reservoir. The lake is well known as a great walleye lake for us locals and for people as far away as Calgary and area who have seasonal spots at Crawling Valley just for the fishing. The usual day for Dad and I on Crawling Valley is to use a pickerel rig and some minnows from the local store and sink them to the bottoms at the inlet of Crawling Valley. On an average day it wasn’t hard to pull in anywhere from 10 to 20 nice walleye a piece. On this particular morning the inlet bay had a few more than usual fisherman especially for that time of the morning, even our local Fish and Wildlife Officer was out enjoying the beautiful morning of the first day. The morning started out pretty slow with just a few hits all around the bay and the odd fisherman catching a few small walleye. Around 7:30 that morning the action started picking up with Dad catching two legal pike and three nice walleye within 45 minutes, I had caught only a few small pike by this time. With the canal just opened and the water flowing in we were getting some debris like a few branches and even a few small logs which made things a little tricky. After throwing on some fresh minnows I fired my bait out and made a cast that made Dad look at me funny, as it went only about 6 to 8 feet from shore but I decided to leave it as I was throwing out to just my side of the middle and wasn’t having much luck plus I had to make it seem like that’s exactly where I wanted it to be to the old man. Well not even 5 minutes later I hear my bell go off and see my rod bending far down but not bouncing up and down like a fish biting or on the hook and fighting. So I grab my rod and give a few reels in, no fighting just a drag. Dad looks at me and I say must be a log or some branches again, so I start reeling it hard into shore. Not even 6 or 7 spins on my old trusty reel and I see him, it’s a pike and a good one. Dad sees it too and comes a running. I get the big pike into about a foot and a half of water and he is on his side, we see he has rolled in my fire line and is not even hooked anymore. I start to panic because I would love to land this guy but before I could even start to panic much, I see Dad standing in the water almost tackling this big pike! Dad gets a grip on him and brings him to shore and untangles the mess of line. By this time everyone in the bay is talking and watching what we are up to. Dad and I get the big guy all straightened out and I grab a hold of my biggest pike I have ever landed while Dad gets the camera. We get a few fishermen come over to have a look and even the Wildlife Officer comes to shake my hand. We get some measurements and weight on Dad’s digital scale and release the big fella back into the lake for another day. Now don’t get me wrong it wasn’t the biggest fish ever caught or even the biggest one caught at the reservoir but it was Dads and my biggest. Weighing in at 24.4 lbs with a 19.5 inch girth, 44 inches long!
I would just like to give a big thanks to E.I.D. for making and maintaining some of the best fishing lakes in Alberta as Crawling Valley Reservoir is only one of many great reservoirs in my area alone. Also a thanks to Fish and Wildlife, who’s regulations and enforcement make sure that my son and I will continue to enjoy our water systems and the fish in them.