The Bucket List
July 7, 2013
Stephane was with me today for a relaxing day of fishing. He had recently broken his leg in an accident and needed to get into some fish. I knew just the place and we left the dock shortly after 7:30 in hot pursuit. With a pretty good west wind upon us, I decided to troll some water in hopes of a quick bite. Conditions seemed just perfect with the overcast skies and a 10 knot blow creating a 1 to 2 foot chop on the water. Temps were in the 70’s already with plenty of humidity in the air. Water temps hadn’t fallen much and were still above 70 degrees. Well it didn’t take long to get the first pike to eat and it was game on. It wasn’t a giant but it was over 6 pounds and a good start to the day. A few others also came to the boat in the next hour or so along with a double header. Biggest one here went just under 8 pounds and it was time to relocate. I wanted to get him into more action and it just wasn’t happening on this spot! A slight change in locations and we began catching a few walleye & smallmouth in the 2 to 4 pound range. The smallies were what he wanted now and another complete change was in order. I wasn’t sure how he would be standing on the casted leg but thought we would give it a try nonetheless. Off to an area further away and almost immediately he was hooked up. They were active and several others followed the one attached to his hook making me believe it was loaded. He casted back out after the release and was instantly into another one of equal size. As this was late morning, I knew the boat traffic would be getting worse and he would have a hard time standing in the waves. We stuck it out for longer than I expected as it’s always hard leaving fish biting! He must have played with more than 15 bass here and fortunately landed about 75% of them before the leg just gave out. Time to troll again and I knew just the place. I fished open water areas looking for active fish and picked a few decent northerns again before one of the rods began to sing. I immediately knew what he had and it was game on. After a lengthy battle, we were finally able to get his fish to the boat. He was in awe with the overall size of the beast and absolutely thrilled to have landed her. I was also told that he could officially check this one off of his “Bucket List”! A quick release and she went away no worse for wear! We were going to head back for more smallies, but the weather wasn’t looking too good. I checked the radar and noticed that we didn’t have long before we would be in the worst. A unanimous decision was made to pull the plug before anything got worse. He had caught plenty of good fish today and even iced the cake with his first ever lunge. We were done and ran back in a little drizzle just in front of the heavy stuff. Despite an earlier than expected departure, there were loads of fish landed today. I know Stephane will remember this one for quite some time!!