The Annual Outing
October 4, 2014
Darren was back once again with his brother & their friend Dave for the weekend. It had become an annual trip for the trio for several years now and each time it’s eventful. What would this one bring? Thoughts of a cancellation for Saturday were met with a definite no as all three wanted to fish. The miserable weather left us no other choice than the sheltered river as high winds and heavy rains were in the forecast. We spent the entire day fighting all the elements to land many fish but relatively small for this time of year. Although they didn’t catch the quality that I had hoped for, they did manage to wet a line and that was all that mattered. Tomorrow would be another day! The second half of this trip began on another puddle and I had a few surprises in store for them. Darren had already experienced the power of the sturgeon but both Dave and Mark didn’t know what was coming. We headed out in a 10 to 20 knot wind from the SW, but figured it had to be more enjoyable than yesterday. Bluebird skies were also a welcomed treat after yesterday’s heavy rainfall! I set the rods in hopes of a quick hookup and wasn’t disappointed. Darren was back in the game, as if he had never left! He was locked up as the others looked on in disbelief. I had told them we were fishing for big walleye until this point, but had to come clean. They could see by the way the fish was pulling that it wasn’t small and knew something was up. The lengthy battle had them wondering what kind of fish and I let them know, they were sturgeon. Not having ever fished for these creatures, they both wanted their shot at hooking into one also. After Darren landed the fish, Mark was up next. This was a quality one that had him in pain almost immediately. I could tell by the fight that it was one of the above average beasts and knew he’d be hurting by the end of the battle. After what seemed like forever to him, we finally got a view of what he had hooked into. Shortly after, it was in the net and he was relieved. I don’t know how much more of this he would have been able to handle! I had him hoist the dinosaur up for a few pics and the moaning started all over again. It was returned to the water and happily bolted to the bottom. I had wanted to get everyone into at least one but needed to take a couple of sheltered breaks to attend to kicker issues. The first time it was to untangle a mess of fishing line that accidently made its way into the prop and the second time to reconnect the linkage cable that had popped out again. These unscheduled breaks were cutting into our fishing time and hurting our chances of other hookups! The winds were blowing pretty good when we made it back out and waves were in the three foot range when we reset the lines. Fortunately it didn’t take too long for Darren to hook into another and this one was big. After a lengthy battle I netted probably the largest sturgeon so far this season. At over 67 inches it was next to impossible to hold up for pictures and Mark had to assist his brother to make it happen. I still needed to get Dave into one and after a little longer, his rod was finally bent! He may have had the smallest one of the day but it was still huge by anyone’s standards! In less than five minutes he muscled the fish boat side and right into the net. This was not only his first sturgeon but definitely his personal best fish by far. We had succeeded in everyone landing at least one and decided to head for another species. With the lake really rolling now, I knew it wouldn’t be easy and had to jump all over the place in order for them to get bit. The remainder of the day saw a mix of walleye, perch and bass under adverse conditions. Big waves made it hard to detect strikes and many fish were missed because of it. We eventually pulled the plug around 5:00 and called it a day. This trip may have been the most difficult so far but by making many adjustments, it was memorable once again. The giants that they landed today will more than make up for the smaller fish they caught yesterday. Yearly trips like these aren’t all about catching fish anyway. It’s a chance for them to all get together and chill from work & family for a weekend. Catching fish is just a bonus but today, it was huge!!