When I was a young pup our family took fishing vacations to Marsh Miller Lake near Bloomer, Wis. It turned into a weeklong bluegill fishing contest where the most coveted trophy of all was at stake — bragging rights. As the years passed and we all moved away and in different directions, our fishing vacations seemed to happen less and less. Long after we all started having families of our own, the tradition was resurrected and we ended up in fish camp once again, this time on the Chippewa Flowage.
While we were on the Chip, winning the Fish Camp Champ not only carried with it a year’s worth of bragging rights, it also included a traveling trophy that made the rounds for almost 10 years. Sadly, the trophy was lost in a fire but the bragging rights continue on to this day. Just ask my brother Garret who won it with the biggest catch in the history of the Beck family anywhere, anytime. On a back cast he hooked my mom Kathy in the hand and just like that it became a part of the Beck family fishing lore that no one will ever forget.
Early this spring, a discussion was started about getting the Beck boys together for another fishing tournament. As with planning anything that involves more than two people, it took a while, but eventually the time and place were agreed upon. Next week we are meeting on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota.
Lake Vermilion is a gigantic piece of water that used to be known only for its walleyes. Now it is probably known more for its musky fishing. Given the ability and level of experience, the Big V is a perfect multi-species lake for this gathering. I am sure that there will be the usual amount of trash talking and maybe even some side bets but again, this is all about the bragging rights.
The following information is to be used as a reference only and not for professional betting purposes.
2020 Lake Vermilion fishing lineup
Roger — my dad and retired commercial fisherman. Has done a little walleye fishing and even less musky fishing, but he has the fishing mojo on his side. He is the sentimental favorite to win the Championship. Odds: 16-1
Tuna — my oldest brother and the most experienced walleye angler in the group. Unless someone catches a 50-plus-inch musky, Tuna should be the favorite. Odds: 7-2
Dave — I have the most experience in terms of muskies and by a wide margin. For that reason, I am the most obvious pick to win it all which also means that there is little chance that I will. That is just how it works, and everyone knows that. Odds: 50-1
Whammer — my younger brother Whammer is the elk hunting specialist of the family. He stacks them up like cordwood. He is also the horseshoe in the butt member of our family. If there is any contest or event where luck is involved, I would bet on Whammer. Odds: 6-1
Garret — my youngest brother. He is the No. 2 ranked musky fisherman of the group. It seems like every time he fishes with me, he boats a musky or three. Yep, he boated three in one morning while fishing with me and for that reason he is a solid contender. Odds: 12-1
Riggin — my nephew and Whammer’s son. He has very little musky fishing experience and he also the least amount of walleye experience. For those reasons, he is the heavy favorite because he has the huge advantage of beginner’s luck on his side. Odds: 5-3
Stay tuned for next week’s exciting conclusion and find out who is the Beck Family Fish Camp Champ.