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Last Off The Lake

Dave Horvath
Alberta, Canada

As all outdoorsmen know, it takes a lifetime to learn about Mother Nature's ways, and things not to do to enjoy her bounty!

When I was about 17 (which was a while ago), my friend Ken and I decided to fish until we caught our limit, as most of the season's icefishing had been 'catch and release' and a walleye fillet is pretty hard to get after spring breakup! We decided to stay on Lesser Slave until our limit was filled. Total darkness was only minutes away as Ken pulled the last walleye in and we began to clean our catch. The veteran walleye fishermen had left without their limit before the sun was gone. "Scared of the dark," we laughed!
This was the last day for icefishing, as the incredibly hot wind had melted the last one and one-half feet of snow off the ice in the five hours we had been fishing. Every fishing hole on the lake was sucking in water and it sounded like a hundred toilet bowls being flushed at the same time! Out where there were no holes, huge bodies of water collected with no place to go, putting tons of weight on the ice.
We couldn't see the shoreline or any lights on shore as we headed back home. All the trails had flooded and were impossible to see, but with chains and the six-inch lift on the old 4x4, we figured we would make it back to shore with no trouble. Unfortunately, after driving around for 20 minutes we could still not find the shore! Lesser is a massive lake and we couldn't figure out where we were. Suddenly Ken let out a blood-curdling yell and the headlights went under water! Water started gushing in the door seals! I grabbed reverse, nailed the throttle and shot out of there like a scared rabbit! We finally picked our way north by using the stars and got to shore two hours later. Our hair was standing on end for hours afterward.
We decided that maybe the old guys knew a thing or two after all.

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