Fishers and campers, and tubers, oh my. If you have been reading the Phillips County News Athlete of the Week segment, you may realize that a large percentage of our area's athletes choose Nelson Reservoir as their favorite place in Phillips. Last Thursday, May 28, PCN reporter Pierre Bibbs went with Malta's Jim Fauth to Nelson to find out what makes it such a beloved place. Arriving at the State Park boat drop off at 12:13 p.m., one boat was leaving the water. There were also campers out, as well as a couple of other boats on the water. The water was pretty mild, with little to no white-caps. The sun was out and the temperature at the shore was 67 degrees. As Fauth pulled in to drop off his pontoon, Chris Winstead, a resident of Sleeping Buffalo was just leaving the water with his wife Sue Winstead and their 11-year-old Springer Spaniel Minnie. That day Chris caught one of Nelson's sought after fish, a Walleye. "The walleye have been running about 16 or 17 inches," he said. "Nothing huge. We also had two northern pike but they destroyed my rig." Chris said that the trio planned to hit the water again later that day. Shortly after Frank Corkish from Billings pulled his boat out of the water. He was fishing with his son James and his son's friend Kellen. "We are just trying to get out of town for a few days," Corkish said. "We came in the middle of the week because there are not a lot of people out." Corkish was fishing for any fish that would bite and they caught one walleye that day and a walleye and northern one day prior. The Northern that Corkish caught weighed a couple of pounds. "We have just been relaxing at the Sleeping Buffalo," Corkish said. About 12:50 p.m., minutes after hitting the water, Fauth caught his first walleye of the day, a fish measuring 18 inches, that he kept for a family fish fry. The action dried up in a hurry as Fauth and the PCN reporter trolled the waters in search of a bite. At 2:15 p.m. Fauth caught a second keeper around 17 inches, The reporter tried to remain optimistic, but his worm remained on the line, intact. At 2:30 p.m. the reporter finally saw some action as a set line by Fauth was being tightly pulled. Bibbs sprang out of his seat to land the fish as Fauth was setting another line. "It felt like a log," Bibbs said. "I wasn't sure the line was going to hold up. I had lost a fish with a similar pull about thirty minutes ago." Bibbs said he slowly cranked the reel and to his surprise, what felt like a pike ended up being a carp, a fish that he had only caught once before in Nelson. "That was a fun fight," Bibbs said. A yell was heard across the water. About 50 yards away was Malta's Darren Demarais, who pleaded for Fauth to let Bibbs keep his fish. Being that carp are generally bottom-feeders, the fish was let go. Demarais mentioned to Fauth that he and his fishing partner had caught a walleye, a perch, and a clam. The water was still peaceful and the weather began to warm up. The duo hit another short lull in the action until 3 p.m. when the captain landed another walleye. This walleye was injured with a bite mark, likely from a pike. Around 4:30 p.m., Fauth and Bibbs went back to shore to welcome their family. Bibbs' family included his wife Susan and their sons PJ and Lincoln. Fauth's family included his wife Nancy. Prior to his family arriving, Bibbs had not landed a fish that the family would keep. Ten minutes after, his time came. "I caught a walleye!" Bibbs exclaimed. "I was so excited that I forgot to measure it, but I think it was 15 or 16 inches. I am happy that my family was around to see it. At least they could verify it." The family then continued to troll the waters, heading for Pelican Island, a strip of land that was covered by seagulls. Fauth was asked why it was named that. "There are pelicans out there every once in a while," Fauth said. Around that time a boat could be seen zipping around the water, towing a large float for tubing. It was Rick Nelson and his daughters Kylee Nelson, Kelbee Nelson, and their friend Marissa Sandvick. The trio has been tubing before but it was the first time they went tubing together. Kelbee shared her favorite tubing memory. "We were out at Fort Peck and the tube went like ten feet in the air and I just belly-flopped," Kelbee said. This reminded Bibbs of the one and only time he went camping at a weekly camp in Illinois at 14 years of age. "I was terrified," Bibbs said. "I almost cried but I went with one of my camp friends Carlos, and we both sang the chorus of Midwest Swing by Nelly and the St. Lunatics. We survived." While Bibbs was afraid of falling out of the tube, the Nelson sisters and Sandvick said that they look forward to wiping out. An accident nearly occurred at the dock as Sandvick nearly missed the boat and Kylee missed the boat entirely. Kylee was safe on the dock and though she was dared to swim to the boat, she declined. The next day, former Malta resident Kaydee Carnahan went camping at Nelson with her family for the weekend. Like many, Nelson is one of her favorite spots. "Nelson is my favorite lake in Phillips County," Carnahan said. "It's where I grew up fishing and water skiing. It's always fun to go back to where you grew up." She said that being back at Nelson brings back memories and that being there last weekend created new memories. She said that it was windy during her trip byt the fishing was good. She noticed that there were several campers out last weekend. "It was overall a great weekend to be at the lake," Carnahan said. "We all enjoyed it before the mosquitoes decide they want to come out."
Fishers and campers, and tubers, oh my.
If you have been reading the Phillips County News Athlete of the Week segment, you may realize that a large percentage of our area's athletes choose Nelson Reservoir as their favorite place in Phillips. Last Thursday, May 28, PCN reporter Pierre Bibbs went with Malta's Jim Fauth to Nelson to find out what makes it such a beloved place.
Arriving at the State Park boat drop off at 12:13 p.m., one boat was leaving the water. There were also campers out, as well as a couple of other boats on the water. The water was pretty mild, with little to no white-ca...