Rolling right along, the 2019 season here at Scott Lake Lodge has welcomed just over 100 anglers who have landed at our dock in Beavers or Otters to be greeted by fourteen guides looking sharp in their crisp “changeover whites” fishing shirts. Only ten of those 100 anglers were first-time Scott Lake Lodge guests. It didn’t take long for those anglers to realize that Scott is a unique fishing lodge. They quickly witnessed the “More” in our slogan of “World Class Fishing and More”. The More isn’t just the resort-like amenities. The best part of the More is what our new guests experience on their first evening at the lodge; it’s the high level of energy, the animated conversations, the handshakes and hugs between both guests and staff. There is a buzz in Laker Lodge that’s rare: it’s the buzz of friendship and community. That community definitely includes the 32 staff members. Here at Scott we deliberately blur the line between guests and staff who all sit down at the same dinner table and enjoy the same meal—together, catching up on their last twelve months and sharing their travel experiences (most of the Scott staff are world travelers in their off-season). This doesn’t happen just anywhere; we do more.

Every week, bonds between guests and between staff and guests are formed and deepened; it’s an extended family without the family fights. After dinner on most evenings there will be spontaneous games—cards, darts or beanbag games on the expansive deck. Sometimes this transient community even organizes events like the annual Week 3 3rd Annual Ken Thome Euchre Tournament (for non-Midwesterners, it’s a card game) that had a two dozen, two-person teams this year or the new Kracum-crowd organized Mario Cart Challenge (for the over 60 crowd, that’s a video game) that had an equal number of teams, evenly mixed between guests and staff. The “More” is pretty heady stuff around here. So, do we have time for fishing? Isn’t this a fishing lodge?

Indeed, it is. There is always lots of time for fishing, just no time for boredom. Fishing is the core activity and we did it up big on Week 4. Apparently, some anglers perform best under pressure. Like pro athletes, they save their best for late in the game. For four days Sam Bajalia and his fishing partner Curtis Fellows pulled in some good fish, a number of which surpassed the trophy mark, but they wanted more; they wanted a truly memorable day. So, on their final day they flew out to one of Scott’s 22 fly out lakes for one more shot at glory and they made it a good one. Before their last day ended, Sam had landed four trophy pike with a pair of 45 inchers while Curtis delivered on a 46 incher and a mammoth 48, along with dozens of smaller but hard fighting cold-water pike.

While that was a dramatic day, Joe Novicki and Bill Calabresa had an even more sensational day a few days earlier. No strangers to Scott with an incredible 65 trips to Scott between them (people can come to Scott more than once a season as this duo figured out long ago), Bill and Joe have done pretty well up here. They almost always earn the 100+Club membership where anglers land all three Scott trophies whose collective measurements hit or exceed 100 inches. In fact, Bill led the 100+ parade in 2017 with Joe in third position. In 2016 they had the same rankings but with Joe at #1. So, it’s not surprising then that they pulled it off again, but to both do it in a single day, the rare “Done in One, that’s surprising. Joe did his up big, landing a massive 44” lake trout, a 43.5” pike and a fat 19.5” grayling (about as big as they get up here) in one memorable day, getting a total of 107” for his leading 100+Club standing. Bill landed at 101.5”.

More than those four anglers enjoyed some great fishing action. Our Week 4 gang brought in 132 trophies (109 pike, 19 grayling and 7 lake trout), none more memorable than young Kai Boland’s 39” lake trout that was nearly as long as Kai. Just 16 but with some major league fishing cred and five Scott Lake trips behind him, Griffin Kristo did what he’s always done at Scott: land big fish. This season he registered the second biggest pike of the week, a very photogenic 46.5 incher. Rich Kracum and Tom Lind got 45s. Matt Klenk, Craig Mataczynski and Tom Lind all had exciting single days with five pike trophies. Scott Lake Lodge got some trophies too. For the fourth consecutive year we had 100% rebooking. The Week 4 Community will reconvene in 2020. That’s loyalty.