Don't Let This Happen To You
Don't Let This Happen To You|
Robb Anderson (justnorth)
The night was filled with anticipation. For weeks, my young son, Cody, who was ten years old at the time, had looked forward to his first trip, with Dad, to the third river flowage by Lake Winnibigoshish in Minnesota. He had listened to all the stories of past trips. How it was not uncommon to see forty pike a day come through a spear hole. Now, on the eve of our adventure, my friend Dave and I entertained all the questions a 10 year old could muster up regarding the sport of spearing.
The next morning, we left the motel early and headed for the access. The day was filled with promise as we headed onto the ice on the trustworthy Polaris. We had brought only one sled on this trip and it required a couple trips to haul equipment and a certain eager young fisherman to our intended destination a half mile away.
The northern action was slow and after a couple of hours Cody got impatient. But being the little trooper that he was, he soon discovered a quantity of nice jumbo perch hanging the bottom. We quickly rigged for perch and in no time the smiles became larger and the five gallon pail began to fill with perch.
As you can see in the pictures, A heavy fog started to settle upon us and a snowstorm had begun. We were monitoring the weather and everybody decided that we could stick it out for the evening pike run.
This is when the trouble began. After we had a few nice pike on the ice, dark was soon approaching. Dave and I were making plans to navigate back to the access. We had decided to make a gear run first and warm up the truck for Cody. Because of the declining temperatures, it was decided that we would let Cody stay warm in the house while we made the first run. After packing gear, covering the spear hole, and giving Cody instructions to stay in the house, we closed the door and proceeded to get under way.
Now, that trusty Polaris, that always started on the first pull, was not cooperating. I look back at it now and truly believe there was some higher power at work that night. If that sled had started Dave and I would have been half way to the access. That is when we heard a scream that I will never forget and haunts me to this day. It seems Cody had backed up onto a corner of the hole cover tipped it and had fallen in!
I rushed into the house. If you have ever heard of the power of adrenalin, I will attest the fact that all the stories are true. As I entered the house all I could see was my son's head and elbows protruding from the hole as legs thrashed wildly trying to vainly pull himself from the hole. With one pull on the back of his jacket I lifted his soaked body back onto the floor of the house.
We rushed him to the access, started the truck heater, and stripped him of his wet clothing. It took the rest of a sleepless night, fraught with worry, to get his body temperature back to normal.
That was eight years ago and I still thank the powers that be that I have my son to fish with. One stupid decision on the part of a young father could have changed all that.
The Polaris? We still have it and, to this day, it starts with one pull.
I ask you to please take a kid fishing but watch over them. They are way too precious to lose. Don't let this happen to you.
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