By Crystal Dey
How many other women do you know who spearfish?
Only three: my mother, Mayme Rajdl, my sister, Sonya Anderson, and Eleanor Jahnke from Carlos, who spears on the Long Prairie River.
When did you start spearing?
I began spearing as a child when my dad and mom went.
Do you think spearing has gained popularity since you
I personally think the popularity of it has declined over the years. When you spear, you are able to spear northern pike. A lot of people say, “Oh, yuck, northern, those slimers. I wouldn’t touch one of those with a 10-foot pole.”
Do you find spearing more difficult or rewarding than traditional
I prefer spearing over angling, because the spear hole is like watching an aquarium. Even though you may not see a northern, there may be other species of fish you get to watch. Sometimes, you see the same fish on different days from characteristics on that particular fish.
Do you spear in the summer as well?
Personally, I do not spear in the summer. I do know that some of the younger generation has recently caught on to carping. A bow and arrow attached to a string is used to arrow the carp and retrieve them. I have been along with my nephew once. That is also exciting.
What is great about living in Douglas County?
We are extremely blessed to live in a county of so many lakes. If the fish can’t find you on one lake, you can always change lakes. Maybe they will find you on a different lake.
People would be shocked to learn that:
I locked my husband, Jeff, out of the fish house one time because I was missing the fish and he was getting them. I just plain locked him out and told him he wasn’t coming back in until I got caught up! I let him hang out there for a couple minutes, then let him back in.
What are your other passions, hobbies or interests?
Deer hunting time is sacred to me! I love it because it is just like spearing. You wait and wait and wait, sometimes! Then, in the blink of an eye, the deer or fish is there.
I like to go 4-wheeling, camping in old cabins, everything rustic and just plain enjoying nature – especially early mornings. I also like to show a lot of the younger kids how to spear or teach them what I know about taking care of the meat you may harvest.
The role of a woman has morphed through the decades. What can Generation Z learn from your generation?
Everyone has a story of what they did, how they did it, or what they wouldn’t do again. I hope the Generation Z’ers listen to their mother’s, father’s and grandparent’s stories of how they used to do things: raise produce in the garden, raise their own meat, beef, hogs, chickens or whatever the case may be.
I know now, as I get older, I did not pay very close attention to a lot of things when I was younger. I blew them off and thought, “What do I need to know this for?”
I am blessed to still have the luxury of having my mother to ask questions about how she did stuff. She is still alive to tell me how to do things differently, to make things better.
I am lucky. I have a lot of younger, little guys that like to go spearing with me. I will never refuse them, because I tell them: “I will take you spearing now, but someday, you will
take me spearing!”
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