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Brad Dokken, Forum News Service, Published December 29 2013

Talkin' with Dokken: Strange sights while ice fishing

Q. What are some of the strangest things you have seen ice fishing?

A. One of my favorites happened two winters ago when a fish swam off with the ice fishing pole I’d lent a buddy who joined us for our annual trip to Oak Island on Lake of the Woods. He was watching a fish on the screen of his electronics and trying to coax it into biting when something hit his setline rod with a vengeance and sent it rocketing down the hole.

He’s pretty fast, this kid, but the fish was faster.

Later that afternoon, another friend fishing with us hooked a walleye. When he brought it up the hole, we saw it somehow had gotten tangled in the line of the rod that had been lost more than an hour earlier. Don’t ask me how, but the lost rod then appeared at the bottom of one of my holes, and I was able to rescue it without incident, apparently no worse for the wear.

My buddy used it the rest of the trip, and it worked fine; it’s still going strong.

I’m still not sure how the walleye ended up in the line of the rod that fell down the hole, but we all got a good laugh out of that encounter.

Another time, I was fishing near Garden Island, also on Lake of the Woods, when I caught a big eelpout with a piece of line hanging from its mouth. The pout was flirting with 10 pounds, so I figured it had snapped another fisherman’s line. I kept the fish for dinner, and when I cleaned it, I saw the line wasn’t from the pout, but from a 10-inch walleye with a jig in its mouth, which the eelpout had gobbled for lunch. Also in the pout’s gut was another walleye about the same size.

Neither walleye was digested so they hadn’t been in the pout’s gut for long. Best I can figure, the walleye with the jig had hit a bobber line or setline, only to be gobbled by the pout before the unsuspecting angler could reel it in.

But that’s just a guess.

If you have a question for Talkin’ with Dokken, call (701) 780-1148 or send an email to bdokken@gfherald.com.