A Fishing Expedition Brightens the Day for Minnesota Veterans

By KBJR News 1

June 25, 2013 Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM CDT

Knife River, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- As many anglers say any day spent fishing is a good day. And a good day it was for Northland Vets.

The twenty first annual Lake Superior Veterans Fishing Trip took place Monday morning.

Every Angler knows, if you want to catch the big ones... you better get an early start.

That's why seventeen charter boats left the Knife River Marina at 5:30am, loaded up with Minnesota Veterans looking to drop a line.

Colleen Wallin, Director of Recreation at the Silver Bay Veterans Home, says the most rewarding part of the trip is to see Veterans faces light up on the water.

"It's amazing, our veterans with the limitations that they have, their facial expressions, and their smiles. Just hearing the engine, smelling the lake, being out there in the sunshine, catching a fish is a bonus, but when they put that pole in their hand, there is never ending smiles," says Wallin.

Dave Olson, Grand Master of Masons Taconite, says although a fishing trip may seem a simple thing...it lets Veterans know they are appreciated.

"The most important part is supporting these veterans. Showing appreciation to what they've done for our country and helping them have a great day," says Dave Olson, Grand Master of Masons Taconite.

Not only was the event a great way for the Vets to enjoy a beautiful day outdoors, but the number of fish caught on this years fishing trip also broke an all–time record.

154 fish were caught on Monday, breaking the record for the past twenty–one years.

The boats returned around eleven am for the Vets and residents from Hastings, Minneapolis, and Fergus Falls Veterans Homes to enjoy a lunch on the shore.

"I haven't seen what they've got on the menu yet, but I'm sure it's going to be fish," says Chuck Rathbone, Master of Taconite Lodge in Silver Bay.

In total, seventeen charter captains donated their boats and their time to take the veterans out fishing.

43 Veterans from Silver Bay Veterans Home got up at three am to catch the four am bus for the fishing expedition.

At the shore lunch they also had a chance to enjoy live accordion music.

Elsa Robins