October 11, 2014
Jim & Marie were back with me for their annual fishing trip and in for a surprise. I hadn’t told them what it was, but I knew they would enjoy it as much as everyone else. I picked them up at their motel at 7:30 and we were fishing not long after. I hadn’t been on the water since last Monday and wasn’t sure what to expect today. The past week had horrible conditions with hurricane like winds and plenty of sideways rain. Water temps had fallen to 57 degrees and muddied up quite a bit. Hopefully this would help the bite as fall was definitely upon us! I decided to start with the big fish spot in hopes of both of them landing giants early in the day. Once we were set up, it didn’t take long before Jim was into his first sturgeon and it was quite a battle. This thing made several runs and then just dogged it on the bottom. The fight lasted a while before those bubbles finally appeared and a sighting soon followed. Neither of them had expected to see a fish this big on the end of Jims line and were amazed that they even lived in our waters. I hoisted it aboard and it even looked bigger in the boat! Jim held it up for a few shots before torpedoing it back to the depths. We returned to the fishing in hopes of Marie getting one but after an hour or so of just misses, we pulled the plug. I had plenty of water to cover and wanted to hit as many areas as I could for bass. What I hadn’t anticipated though, was all the other bass boats buzzing all over the lake. Apparently there was another tournament going on and I had company. This was going to be interesting as they were everywhere. In fact one area that I was hoping to fish, had boats on it all day long. Each time one left, another pulled in making it impossible for me to stop there. I wasn’t going to expose Jim & Marie to those tournament guys and went elsewhere. I headed further away and gave some shallow areas a try only to find out, they weren’t there. Marie caught the only decent fish of four pounds by covering water with a blade bait. Jim had been tossing a stick bait and managed to get a couple of northerns. Along the way they also managed a few smaller bass before we just left the shallows completely. I really wasn’t seeing any activity here and thought a deeper and slower presentation might be more productive. We relocated on an edge and I decided to mix it up a bit. Jim would be working a jig and Marie a drop shot in hopes of a few pickups. Well, Jim was tight lined almost on his first cast and things were looking up! He managed to land a nice four pound smallie and I thought we were in store for plenty more. Unfortunately this was to be the only bass from here but several walleye were caught afterwards. I tried another area nearby and once again Jim was locked up quickly. Both bass & walleye were landed here as well but all by dead sticking the jigs. For some reason, these fish didn’t want to move much and needed a really slow delivery. After several more fish and even more missed strikes, we moved again. We were going to try for the sturgeon once more as Marie still needed to fight one of her own. I set up in hopes of her tangling with something but Jim was the first one to lock up. He offered her the rod but she wanted him to fight it and flat out refused his kind gesture. Jim was on his own and had to fight another beast for a while before I would be able to bring it to net. Marie was watching how much strength this fish had and having second thoughts of fighting one. I finally netted his fish and it was slightly larger than the one he previously caught. A few more pics and another torpedo release and back to fishing we went. This time Marie contacted with one and it was game on! Not only did she finally hook up, but it was a giant! I could tell by the way it was acting that this was going to be a long battle and warned her to conserve her strength. At one point I could see the line rising and knew what was about to happen. I told them to wait for it and right on cue the monster leaped straight out of the water, boat side! It was huge and we all got a fantastic view of her Olympic, leaping dinosaur! Fortunately it had used up energy by jumping and Marie was gaining line back quickly. I had hoped for a quick fight and was glad the bubbles were starting. Soon after I slid the net under and brought this monster aboard. There was absolutely no way she would be able to hold it up for pics alone. Jim had to give her a hand and even at that, she struggled. It was released to fight again and Marie was exhausted from the fight. What a way to end the day! There was absolutely no way we were going to reset the lines and ended on a high. Although the bite may have been a painstaking one today, they still came out winners. They had managed to land plenty of decent fish with a couple of big smallies and topped it off with some real giant sturgeon. Who could ask for anything more!!