A Father & Daughter Fishing Trip
August 31, 2016
A father & daughter fishing trip was planned by Jim a few month ago and it began today. Alyssa met up with her dad here in Montreal and spent a day in Quebec city before returning back for the main event. I was hoping the weather would cooperate, but we all know how that goes! An early morning thunder shower gave way to mostly overcast skies, but held off on the rain. All stations showed thunder storms throughout the day but by viewing the radar, I realized we would be fine. First stop of the day was going to be the sturgeon and I hoped they would bite. There was some wind but conditions looked great to get bit as I anchored up and prepped the lines. We had a number of false bites as lines were getting bumped into by some of the fish down there. The first rod I handed Alyssa ended quickly as the sturgeon didn’t stay pinned for more than 15 seconds. The next time I handed her the rod however, it was all she could do just to hang on. I coached her on how to pace herself and what to do to conserve strength as it was going to be a long battle. I didn’t see the first jump behind the boat but it sounded large! I could see that she was struggling a bit and the fish looked like it was in control. As it started to pass the boat, I was afraid of the anchor rope and went to get the bumpers in case I had to un pin. All of a sudden it took to the air and catapulted itself right onto the front deck of the boat. My worst nightmare had come true! This beast was out of water and still green. I immediately tossed the net on top of it and hoped it remained calm. I grabbed a pair of gloves and decided to try something as I knew taking any photos would be next to impossible. Jim now had the rod and my thoughts were to somehow pick it up and throw it back for the balance of the fight. This wasn’t easy as the sturgeon was pissed off and kicking like crazy. I somehow managed to slide it over the rail and it just screamed line from the reel, heading straight to the bottom. A potential disaster fixed! Jim still fought the fish for more than 5 minutes before I was able to get it into the net. This may not have been the largest sturgeon but it will be one that I think everyone will remember for quite some time! I now had the task of helping Alyssa hold the fish for some pics and that wasn’t easy either. All I could do was have her sit and prop it up on her lap as there was no way she was lifting this monster on her own. With a little more help we were able to toss it overboard after and watch it swim off unharmed. I wanted to get the lines back in quickly as I had noticed that the winds were starting to pick up. This time however, we wouldn’t be able to leave them in the holders and had to keep them in our hands. The waves were bouncing us around way too much! About 5 minutes in, I detected a bite and loaded the rod for another battle. Jim was handed the rod as Alyssa & I cleared the other two, giving him room to battle the fish. He fought it like he had been doing it all his life and tried putting the wood to it without success. As many times as he reeled it in, it went right back out and took even more line. Twice the line rose and both times it took to the air with a spectacular jump. Around ten minutes into the fight, he mentioned it was close and then it happened. The third jump was almost a disaster again when we were face to face with his fish. It had gone out of the water less than a foot from the boat and brushed the side upon re entry. I swear these things are trying to get even with me! Thankfully they don’t have teeth! Several minutes later, I was able to net it and this fight was done. Jim really didn’t want to hold the fish after he saw what his daughter went through so he opted for the floor pic instead. We released it back after and packed everything up to go for much smaller fish. Walleye & bass were on the list as Alyssa had never caught either. I set up a couple of drop shot rods and instructed both of them on the way to fish the area. On my first demonstration I got bit and loaded the rod. I passed off to Alyssa and she landed a nice keeper eye. Shortly after, she had another and this one was an over . Pics and a release and back in they went. They were both missing several bites and I was marking plenty of fish here too. Eventually Jim stayed pinned on one of his strikes and boated another over walleye. Pics and a release were all we got! Several drifts through the area should have provided more fish than they were getting but for some reason it wasn’t. Jim did however manage to hook another but this one was a smallie and it leaped in the air on the hook set. It had been a while since he had caught a smallmouth as largemouth were what he was used to. Alyssa also managed an even bigger smallie not long after giving them both an official slam. I was informed that they wanted to get off by 2:30 & when I looked to see the time, I realized we only had 5 minutes to go. They had a great day catching fish that they hadn’t experienced before and left with plenty of video, pics and memories of the day. They will be back in the morning for round two and hopefully bigger and better! Maybe this time they can battle a much larger sturgeon. Hopefully no more incidents like today though!!