North Bay's Desmond Nichol can barely believe it.
The 62-year-old fisherman landed a monster-sized walleye recently in Lake Temagami while staying at Loon Lodge.
"I didn't even plan on fishing as I'm just recovering from six months of chemo treatments. I was just there to get away," Nichol told BayToday. "I was afflicted with colon cancer in December 2019 and had surgery in April 2020 to remove a tumour and was given the all-clear. Then in January 2021 I was told cancer had spread to my liver."
Nichol completed his treatments this August and was told that the five spots had disappeared. So some relaxation was definitely in order.
"My four brothers, a friend, and my son Brandon, who works at Gramps Place in Temagami, decided to do a weekend fishing trip at Loon Lodge," he recalls.
The trip started normally. Adam Pugh, the owner, and guide at Loon Lodge took the group out.
What a day it was! Nichol caught three walleye, all over 30 inches long, including the monster walleye in the picture.
"Someone has to pinch me because what happened can’t possibly be real!!" Pugh posted to his Facebook page. "This was the biggest walleye I have ever laid eyes on, let alone in a net!!!" The 31-year-old guide has fished his entire life.
The fish measured just over 32 inches and Pugh figures weighed about 15lbs.
An oddity is a ling hanging out of her mouth, which Pugh estimates was 2lbs and 16 inches long.
"Just a crazy fish from a crazier lake," he said "That's just crazy, It's one of the wildest things I've seen. You see that with lake trout every once in a while but it left us speechless."
The ling was half-digested.
Pugh says as a general rule, and in this case, it's catch and release.
"The big girls all swam away in fine fall fashion but I have a feeling a graphite replica might be in the future for this freak of nature!!"
Pugh says the group used just a jig and a minnow to land the fish, and reeling in three fish all over 30 inches in one day by one person was very unusual.
"Not common at all. I've been guiding for 15 years and never seen that."
He says fishing on Lake Temagami this year was "amazing, out of this world."