Hunter’s Corner: Naswa Resort a gem of the Winni Derby

For the Monitor
Monday, May 29, 2017

Over 30 years ago, a group of adventuresome anglers gathered together at Big Ed’s camp to celebrate a right of springtime passage of the Winni Derby. In some years, you had to grab a corner on the floor with a sleeping bag.

It was there where my son Robb met Ed’s son, Mark, and they have been longtime friends. When the camp was ultimately sold, the group moved on to a new location and in time they discovered Naswa Resorts. I was out of the loop while Robb was in the Navy and didn’t get back until I did a boat upgrade. But the real jewel of the annual event became Naswa.

Last year Naswa upgraded its docking system, and unbeknownst to us, the upgrade included a fascinating light system. White facing down light make is safe to utilize the dock during night time. Underneath the dock are a computerized colored lighting system with multiple color combinations. At our request the color chosen for Saturday night was salmon, how appropriate.

Little did we know that the Marine Patrol Lighting Police had visited with the owner last year and informed her that she could not use white, blue, green or red lights unless she got approval from the Governor and Executive Council because it might be confusing to boaters. I mean all she wanted to do is light up with red, white and blue colors on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, and possibly red, white and green at Christmas time.

You have to understand that Naswa is on the channel which is a no-wake headway speed zone. Any boat driver who might get confused by the lights shouldn’t be behind of the wheel of a car either.

The highlight of the weekend is the awards ceremony Naswa puts on. The top prize for the heaviest fish was won by a friend of Robb’s and mine, Mark. Mark’s entry was a 4.20-pound salmon and his prize was a $200 Naswa gift certificate. The second-place winner received a $100 Naswa gift certificate. Many other prizes were also awarded. What followed was a series of door prizes.

For the weekend, 28 boats had docked and over 50 guests stayed at Naswa. Towards the end of the ceremony, a boat named the Purple Haze tried to dock thinking they were open for business. This was a regular and was informed by the owner that the restaurant will be opening the following week.

“Then who are those people?” The owner responded that “they are special.” We will be e-mailed reservation forms for 2018 in December 2017. I will respond in January.

The lake was exceptionally high and had a 4 mph current flowing into Paugus Bay. The tree pollen was exceptionally high and grass pollen was moderate. Anyone with allergies was having a challenging time.

2017 became the tale of two boats. Bruce’s boat had a tree fall on it. The insurance company covering the boat surveyed the boat and totaled it. It was still sound, water tight and able to operate so Bruce bought it for salvage value.

The real value to this boat was the four-cylinder Mercury outboard. This particular model, no longer in production, when trolled at slow speeds, operates on two-cylinders rather than four. This eliminates the needs to purchase a trolling motor which is why its production was short lived.

The other boat tale involved Big Ed. Ed purchased his 19-footer two years ago. He contracted with a lakes region marina to perform maintenance and to mount a 15 HP trolling motor. Well after a year’s time there was no progress in completing the project. He then contacted Bass Pro Shops in Hooksett. No problem, bring it in and we will take care of you, and they did. So Thursday last week became the maiden voyage of Big Ed’s boat.

As Ed is turning the corner to enter his docking space his forward motion stopped. The engine ran but no propulsion. Six fellow anglers helped pull the boat into its dock and then the postmortem began, what was wrong. He called to repairman from Bass Pro and was told there was something fouled in the prop. And sure, enough there was. As he had turned the corner, he had picked up a length of black rope. Removing the rope and he was back in business, except he had one more issue to deal with, the motor wasn’t fully lowered. They didn’t dare experiment lest it became stuck in an upright position. After securing the boat on its trailer they learned who to properly toggle the switch to raise and lower the prop. The repairmen from Bass Pro offered to come up after work and help him with the boat if needed. Ed thanked him profusely but it wasn’t necessary.

The engine in Big Ed’s boat has a self-contained in-line cooling system which means Ed can take his boat out on salt water without the corrosion problems other engines might experience. During out time on the water, Robb and I caught 12 fish. Eleven were undersized and one was 22.75 inches in length and weighed 3 pounds, 12 ounces.

Sunday evening Ranee concocted an amazing recipe for fresh salmon, it was great. One of the things you have to take into consideration is how to release a fish. After removing the fly or lure keeping the fish in your net you revive the fish. And when its ready it will easily escape the net.

There are special restrictions on water managed for salmon and lake trout. Salmon and rainbow trout, brook or brown trout and the hybrids must be a minimum of 15 inches in length. Lake trout must be 18 inches in length. The daily limit is two fish.

Women interested in taking Hunter education in the company of other women can now sign up for a special Women-only Hunter Education Course offered by Fish and Game. The course involves self-paced online study and an online exam. The required Field Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 8 at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness. Participants must be 15 years of age or older.

The field day includes both written and field exams. Women also participate in a firearms-handling session, a map and compass lesion and a love-fire course, capped off by a field exam.

“This course is an opportunity for women to learn New Hampshire hunting laws and regulations, firearms handling, how to use a map and compass, and how to enjoy hunting safely so challenge themselves in the great outdoors this fall,” said Tom Flynn, who manages the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center.

Women are also welcome to participate in the traditional Hunter Education courses and field days; this special course simply offers an alternative. For more information, you can contact Tom Flynn at 536-1290 or Lisa Collins at 271-3212. There is a $15 charge for the course and no charge for the field day.

Bob Washburn can be reached at hunterscorner@aol.com.