When a Molotov cocktail was lobbed over the security fence at my TV station during the protests of 2020 and a ball of fire exploded under a vehicle, I hoped it wasn’t mine. Not because I cared about my car. I cared about my fishing gear inside, and as soon as I was finished anchoring five hours of continuous riot coverage, I planned to escape to the woods, water, and walleyes far away from the mayhem.
It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve done since I was a kid. What I didn’t know, until I found a pile of old photos from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, is that escaping to go fishing is the thread that binds five generations of the Boel family.
A Belgian immigrant farmer, blinded in a dynamite explosion, planted the seed.
His son harvested a crop of crazy fishermen.
His son showed his family how the best life is lived on the water.
His son took it to another level.
His daughter trumped everyone before her with monsters we all dreamed about.
Five generations of fish stories. Funny ones. Sad ones. Ones that got away. Times we got it right.
I’ve worked my whole life on this book. One cast at a time. One story passed down at a time. I finally caught my limit. Now they’re yours to enjoy.