Beating The Odds
October 3, 2014
Christian & Jacques joined me this morning on another interesting journey! The weather would be the biggest factor as we had all kinds of changes throughout the day. To begin with, we started out in overcast skies that turned into a giant fog bowl in the middle of the lake. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t see the other side and drove directly into the soup. The rest of the run would have to be by GPS as visibility was only about 50 feet. I carefully headed to our starting location and it felt strange once I arrived. I knew the fish were there by the sonar but couldn’t see anything else, anywhere! We set up and it didn’t take long for Jacques to hook into the first sturgeon of the day. He had never really fished much and required a little coaching in order to conserve his strength. The burn came early and he was starting to struggle with this dinosaur in under five minutes. Fortunately he didn’t have too much longer as bubbles were starting to show now. Eventually I netted his fish and hoisted it aboard for a few pics. I don’t think either of them had realized exactly what we were after by the looks on their faces. With a lot of difficulty, he raised the fish up for the pictures and torpedoed it back right after. I know he wasn’t ready for another one and reset the lines in hopes that Christian would hook up next. As luck would have it, he did and now it was his turn to experience the raw power of these fresh water sharks! It was definitely a struggle for him as well but I could tell by the look on his face that he was loving every second of this fight! Although slightly smaller than his son’s, it was still a good size and gave him quite a battle before going into the net. We hadn’t been fishing for more than an hour and they both had their personal bests! It could only get better, or so I thought! With the fog still upon us it was an eerie feeling catching these things without being able to see far. Although I could hear other boats running in the distance, we remained safely where we were and kept fishing. Several more hookups and a few early releases were had in the next couple of hours. A few of them even came to net for more pics! Eventually the fog did lift and we were finally into sunshine and warmer air temps. Unfortunately the winds had started blowing more, causing us to vacate this area and head for another species. I decided to try trolling as it looked like the most productive way to fish. We were into about three footers now, out of the SE and although somewhat difficult, it was still doable. One of the rods looked more bent than usual and when I checked it, I knew why. There was weight on the other end and Christian began to reel in a decent walleye. I measured it after the netting and it went just over the slot causing us to release it back to the water. Not before several pics for proof though as it was Christian’s largest walleye to date. We only landed a few more smaller fish before changing to a different approach. The wind was intensifying and I didn’t know how much longer we had before pulling the plug on this day. With a cross wind to the flow I had to really stay on the small engine to slow down the drift. They were drop shotting now and it wasn’t easy. By slowing the boat down I was rolling the occasional wave over the back deck while attempting to stay on the spot. Although they missed more fish than they landed, they still managed to bring a few to the net. Unfortunately only one legal walleye was landed but some smaller ones were also caught. Several decent smallies also came to net as we attempted several passes in this hell. Eventually after bringing a few rogue waves over the deck, I had to call the day. In the last hour the rollers got much larger and each time I went back for another pass I could see the effect. We still had to take out and I knew by the wind direction that the ramp wouldn’t be pretty. I readied the boat for a bumpy ride and headed to the dock in fours & occasional fives! I made sure that I didn’t take too long once we arrived and was out in only a couple of minutes. The back deck and floor took a few big rollers once on the trailer and I was glad we were done. Safety always comes first and I really pushed the envelope today! We had stayed out until 4:00 and that was more than I had expected. Even with all the weather changes, they managed to catch a bunch of fish and some really big ones too. "Mother Nature" may have won out in the end but we put up quite a fight. We had endured everything she threw at us and came out winners. All in all a pretty good day!!!