Reflecting on the Past Year–Happy Thanksgiving! – Captain’s Column
By angelamontana

Posted: November 28, 2013

Today is Thanksgiving Day. It is a day that we should reflect on that past year and be thankful for the great times that we experienced in the outdoors. I am sure many of you have your own moments that were special for you in 2013, just as I have mine. A couple of fishing trips that I took last year to Fort Peck Reservoir stand out for me as trips that I will cherish forever. It is always great to get out and spend a day on the water but this year my fishing trips to Fort Peck included catching a lot of fish and more than my fair share of large fish.

The first trip, Brandt Hamernick, from Missoula, joined me the last week in May. We headed for Rock Creek Marina, where the owner Bill Heinrich always greets anglers to make them feel as if they are in the best fishing atmosphere one can imagine.

Fishing started for us Tuesday morning the day after Memorial Day weekend. It was great that first day on the water but as the week progressed the fishing got even better even as the weather got worse. All in all, Hamernick and I caught close to 200 walleyes for the week with the highlight coming for me on Wednesday when I caught and released a 30 inch and 29 inch walleye within an hour of each other.

The harder it rained, close to 5 inches for the week, the better the fish were biting. In June Jim Swanson from Sheridan Montana joined me as we fished out Hell Creek Marina, the home of Clint and Deb Thomas. Once again the waters of Fort Peck produced for us as we caught close to 200 walleyes again, this time we fished out of Snow Creek and Crooked Creek. I managed to catch and release a couple more 30 inch walleyes.

The fishing was so impressive I decided to come back one more time in July as Jim Johnson from Lincoln and brother In law Tim Frost from Rapid City, South Dakota joined me for the week. The highlight that week was when Tim caught and released another 30 inch walleye. The number of fish we caught that week was slower than my earlier trips but still very impressive. So thanks for Fort Peck fishing this year. I can hardly wait for 2014 to get here.

Hunting season has also been special so far this year. I once again traveled to Eastern Montana to try my luck at archery elk hunting with Kelley Burke from Burke Ranch Outfitters. Kelley did his job as he always does and presented me with an opportunity to harvest a bull. I, however, failed to do my part, as I missed a couple of great chances to stick a bull elk. Even though I failed to get a shot off the first time and then missed at a second opportunity, it was a hunting experience that I am grateful.

And, finally, thanks to my girlfriend Berny who drew a cow elk tag. She was successful so we have elk in the freezer. That is a nice feeling for me as I have not had an opportunity yet harvest my own elk. I hope you have had a year that has created some special memories for you in 2013. You may view some of the photo highlights of my year in other posts on

Happy Thanksgiving, and good luck hunting the rest of this holiday weekend.

(Written by the Captain)

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