Following the Sportsman’s Guide advice to make sure I did “Dad’s Day Done Right”, I purchased a Guide Gear Fishing Shirt with UV-protection for my father. He is an ardent fisherman and happiest when on the water and after walleyes. His talent for cooking what he catches is well known and so frequently requested that even if he wanted to stop fishing, public pressure would demand he continue cooking. Upon receiving it, he declared that not only did he love his shirt, but he needed a new one. Mission half-accomplished.
Flash forward a few weeks and after receiving too many photos from my brother hoisting another full stringer of walleyes, I decided it was time for me and Dad to join him that weekend. After hearing that the weather was predicted to be in the 90’s, I revisited the Guide Gear section for another fishing shirt, this time in short sleeves.
Arriving at the boat launch Saturday morning we spied a number of white tents pitched and boats launched and thought that we might be fighting to find a hot spot due to a tournament. My fear was quickly dispelled when I noticed the assembled groups were actually a local chapter of “Fishing Has No Boundaries”, a non-profit volunteer group dedicated to creating fishing opportunities for people of all abilities. There would be no tournament pressure today, just brotherly peer pressure.
After finally getting on the water, it was not long before I was tested to see if my skills, 6-lb. test and fluorescent jig could tell the difference between a walleye strike or a tree stump. After a few missed opportunities and stolen leeches, I was pleased to reel up and stare eye-to-eye with my old friend Wally. He came up just short of our 14” keeper requirement but it would not be the last fish brought up that day.
How well did the Guide Gear shirts perform? Well, even though the weather turned out milder than predicted we both remained comfortable throughout the day, made good use of the zippered front pocket to hold our clippers as well as the unrestrained movement afforded by the vented back. I didn’t land a 23” monster but the walleyes cooperated with enough bites and hook sets to fill the live well with keepers by the end of the day.
Where were we catching them you might ask? Well, in the same place we all catch ‘em.
In the lip.