Beaver Dam Lake Survivors!

Hello friends,

This past weekend eight of us camped on Dodge County’s, Beaver Dam Lake and created memories that will not be soon forgotten as we were on the ice for an incredible rain, sleet, snow, and most significantly wind storm that made national news.

Travis Dushek, his brother Joe Dushek, Pat Lindemann, Hannah Lindemann, Brian Bethe, Clay Parulski, Doug Cibulka, three golden retrievers, a golden doodle, a hound and myself witnessed some excellent walleye fishing and lived to tell the story.

Saturday, February 23rd

High 36, low 31

For the last couple of nights Travis, Pat, and Hannah have been watching tip ups out here and catching walleye that ranged from 15 to 24 inches. Last night Clay Parulski who I would just meet, spent the night in his car and caught a catfish, about a 19-inch walleye, and a crappie.

I was well aware of the impending storm and after putting out my tip ups went to work putting up and securing my Eskimo “Fat Shack” which is about 14x8 feet. I blocked it with my truck and ran propane lights and a heater. Long before dark I was ready to catch walleye enjoy a social experience and the storm.

Shortly after dark we started catching walleye and it was a blast, they have to be 18-inches to keep on Beaver Dam lake and at first most were under size.

We had a first fish bet for a buck a person and a longest walleye for 5 bucks. Hannah and I are buddy’s so we teamed up and wished the other to win the bet to send good karma.

Joey Dushek like his brother Travis grew up in my house and these boys could catch fish in a desert, and today Joey won the first fish bet.

I cannot remember when the rain started, but we were almost always walking on the ice when we were not in the shack having lots of fun.

I was wearing hip boots and lots of cotton layers on top and made a key mistake. I caught three nice walleye 17.5, 19.5 and 20.5. I was getting crazy wet, chilling down and ignoring that fact.

The night wore on and the storm became extremely unique as there was thunder, the coldest rain possible, and lots of wind. Sometimes there would be 8 of us hooting up a storm, sometimes only two.

I retreated to my truck at 3:00, I had caught a really bad chill and could not warm up. In the truck with me was Joey, Pike the golden doodle, and my golden’s Fire and Ruby.

The wind was blowing so hard that it constantly sounded like a jet engine and the truck was actually swaying. Because it was so wet outside and there were five sets of lungs breathing inside an incredible coat of ice formed in the truck, and outside of the truck.

At daylight visibility was a maximum of 75-yards and Travis’s Eskimo ice shack was gone, as in never to be found.

We fished for three hours while we did the incredibly miserable job of taking down and packing camp with all gear being frozen solid and now twice it’s normal size. I was so cold and wet that I wanted to suck my thumb and cry to mama but like everyone else in the gang I sucked it up and together we got the job done.

The good karma that I sent Hannah’s way worked when she beat my lead walleye with a 23.5 that earned her the cash and glory.

As Joey and I headed home the snow was deeper and no matter what I did I could not get warm. It has been years since I have had hypothermia but this was a classic case and I would not trade the hypothermia for all the warm motel rooms in the world if the incredible memory’s that were created that night on Beaver Dam Lake did not come with the it.

Congrats Hannah! Sunset

An Outdoorsman's Journal