News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 9, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: Local walleye fishermen will be missed

KENNY BAYLESS
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — As a tribute to Larry (Root) Dunford, a man who was loved and adored by not only family members, but many friends as well. Read on to learn the meaning of true, loving friendship.

Dave Phelps wrote:

“Our fishing gang from Praireton went on our annual trip to Lake Erie. This trip was special to all of us. It was a memorial trip for one of our buddies that we lost this spring, Larry “Root” Dunford. We had a very successful fishing trip, catching our limit both Saturday and Sunday, thanks to Root. … we miss you Root, and you will always be a member of our group.”

Put this last sentence in your mind, it has more meaning than you realize.

After 12 years of a fishing fellowship going to Lake Erie a dear friend, Root, answered his calling to go fishing with God.

Each July, six Hoosiers ventured to Lake Erie seeking to catch that biggest Walleye of the bunch to claim the $10 the others would have to give up under defeat.

Using their own gear gave them no excuse to catch fish. With a smile, Dave Phelps says “I use a Zebco 1 Classic, a closed face reel that a typical youngster would use to catch their first fish.”

Dave caught the biggest fish the second day, an 8-pound Walleye.

Dave likes to use a medium action ugly stick for a rod and 10-pound test line. They use a sliding ounce weight and a nylon leader. Tie the weight on the end of the line to stay on bottom, then tie your leader to the weight so the worm on the hook will float up from the bottom plus a small spinner propeller helps attract the fish. About 35 feet of water is best no matter the cloud cover. A chop or two foot waves are best to stir up bait fish from the bottom.

When they start catching in a spot, they will drift over it several times. They also catch Sheep’s Head that they throw back and Yellow Perch to keep.

The first day after the first fish was caught, an awesome memorial took place from all of Root’s buddies. They gathered at the back of the boat and said some heartfelt words about Root, then sprinkled some of his ashes on the water he so loved to fish.

Root still lives in the hearts and souls of the ones who knew him!