"I never saw so many big fish all last summer as I did at the Chassell VFW-Copper Country Walleye Association Ice Fishing Tournament last Saturday," said WW&W senior fishing correspondent Ed Wetelainen, who was wettin' a line with senior religion correspondent Amazing Grace, hoping for enough divine intervention to help him hook a big one and finish in the money.
Anglers had to drill through 2-1/2 feeta ice just to drop 'em a line. Trophy fish were caught on Swedish Pimples, Jigging Rapalas, Crippled Herring and teardrops tipped with Gulp and live minnows, grubs and wigglers.
"The popular sixth annual event drew a record crowd of 272 registered anglers, 190 adults and 82 kids," said Dan Loyd of Northwoods Bait & Guide Service (231-2885), in downtown Chassell. "All kids received a goodie bag and a free cap and T-shirt donated by sponsors Humminbird and MinnKota."
"With the Michigan Republican primary in full swing, the conversation in many ice tents and VFWs has turned to politics and religion," said WW&W political correspondent Sarah Palinen, who was tending her tip-ups nearby and keeping up with the candidates on her iPhone. No matter what your leanings, the bite was on and flags were flying left and right all over the ice.
In the shanty next door, WW&W findamentalist Lutheran correspondents Al Postolic and Les Stadian were getting bit by fish that would never see the weigh-in. Both are veterans, but you'll never catch them at the VFW, not even for a family and kids ice fishing tournament.
"Why's that?" Grace asked, "what's wrong with the VFW?"
"They serve alcohol, play music, dance and everything," Postolic replied, "which when done right, can lead to contraception," he warned. "That's why Les and I llke Rick Santorum's stand against it; he practices what he preaches and has eight kids to prove it, but alas, we can't vote for him no matter what, he's Catholic."
"If you can't vote for Santorum, how about Mitt Romney? He's a native son of Michigan."
"He's way too moderate, wishy-washy, and well, Mormon," Postolic replied. "Romney won the Michigan primary by the skin of his teeth, but I don't trust him; the Republican Party has moved quite a bit to the right, but they've got a long way to go to get our vote."
"What scares us the most is he wants to rewrite the tax code so everybody pays their fair share. The tournament paid out more than we pay in taxes and we want to keep it that way," Les concurred.
Tyler LaDuron of L'Anse, won top money, the big fish award and first place when a 42.25-inch, 20.9 pound shovel-nose northern took a shine to his shiner on a tip-up in 17 feeta water. Jim Trewartha weighed in the biggest walleye, a broad-shouldered 10.05-pounder.
"How about Newt Gingrich then?" Palinen drilled down, "If the Tea Party isn't conservative enough for you, who can you vote for?" she asked rhetorically.
"I don't care how experienced and smart he is, I'm a single-issue family values voter too, and Newt's working on his third wife!" Stadian chafed judgmentally, "Divorce, like contraception, is strictly forbidden. Marriage is a life sentence between a man and a woman with no chance of parole. Besides, he's Catholic too."
"I can't vote for Ron Paul either," Al Postolic pre-empted my next question, "As a Libertarian and strict constitutionalist, he's all about personal liberties and freedoms, most of which are sins in our book," he added dogmatically, "we're a theocracy, not a democracy."
If you prefer dogs to dogma, don't miss the Copper Dog 150 at 7 p.m. tonight when historic downtown Calumet turns hysteric.
Jim can be reached 24/7/365 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR'S?NOTE:?Jim's opinions are his own and should not be construed as represenative of the Daily Mining Gazette or its staff.