Walleye jigs from an unexpected source

October 28, 2011

Faith Outdoors

When I stopped in to see Michael and Anne Gross this morning, I did not expect to walk away with a bag full of jigs. That was a surprise ending to our brief visit.

I was there to drop off copies of The Catholic Spirit containing a front-page article about their daughter, Teresa, who took her own life almost a year ago, on Nov. 1, 2010. I also interviewed them on the air this morning on Relevant Radio.

When I handed them a dozen copies of the newspaper article with their story, we talked more about their journey through tragedy into healing and, ultimately, to helping others through an event they are organizing at their parish, St. Paul in Ham Lake. It takes place Saturday, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon (call 763-757-6910 for details or to register).

As we neared the end of our conversation, I happened to mention that I am going on a fishing trip (yes, fishing trip!) to Lake of the Woods on Sunday. When I told Michael, an avid fisherman himself, that we would be jigging for walleyes, he said that he makes his own and I was welcome to take some with me.

I couldn’t refuse the offer. For me, that would be special to catch a walleye (or six!) on one of his jigs. I felt as though the time I have spent talking with him over the last few weeks has created a bond. Not only have both of us lost someone (my first wife died of cancer in 1995), but we also share a love of the outdoors.

We talked about scheduling a fishing trip next summer. I’d love to see that happen. For now, I’ll head up north, tie on one of his jigs and see what happens. The fishing reports are good. According to one on the Sportsman’s Lodge website, the walleyes are running strong from the lake into the Rainy River and biting well.

That’s good news for me and my friend, Pete Wolney. We try to hit the river run of walleyes every fall. Looks like it’s here. I’ll do some bow hunting later today and again on Sunday morning, then it’s up to Lake of the Woods we go!

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek