Father & Daughter Round Two
September 1, 2016
Day two for Jim and Alyssa saw bluebird skies and flat calm waters. Perfect conditions to get that big early morning bite! We headed directly to the sturgeon area hoping to tangle with a couple more before noon. With no wind at all I would be able to move around if needed, increasing our chances for a hookup. Once I located what I needed and dropped anchor, it was only be a matter of time. I knew we would have action and anticipated great results. With the lines set we anxiously awaited the arrival of our first bite and it was a surprise. A nibbler turned out to be a darn perch and I didn’t even pass them the rod. Bait thieves are all over the bottom down there but usually they are goby minnows and not perch. I re rigged the rod and we waited once again. The next time we were bit however, it felt like the real thing. Alyssa was up first and was now tight to what seemed to be a smaller sturgeon by the weight. The fight was tough but didn’t last long and she had the fish to the boat quickly. I was thrilled and surprised to see that it was actually a channel cat and it was big. It had been a couple of months since anyone brought one of these things aboard and I was excited to see this one. Apparently so was Alyssa as he had never caught one before! Once aboard, I boga gripped it and gave it to her for some pics. It was heavy alright as she struggled to lift the cat several times for pictures. We released it back afterwards and resumed the task a t hand. I really wanted to get them into a giant and hoped the next bite would be the one. Our first area went dead and I decided to search around looking for a better concentration of fish to anchor on. Eventually I found what looked good and dropped the lines in hopes of a bite. Several drive byes later, we got bit and I locked the fish up. Jim was getting this one and I knew it was the right one! He fought it for almost five minutes before we saw the size he was dealing with. One leap had jaws dropping! This was going to be a long battle and I was glad Jim was on the other end of the rod. I saw what he was capable of yesterday when he fought his first sturgeon perfectly. There were times when he had to do the sturgeon shuffle around the motor as the fish couldn’t make up his mind where to go. Another jump later it was screaming off line again, like it had just been hooked up! This thing just didn’t want to give up! It sounded to the bottom and he pumped it back up a few more times and then it jumped again. This time however, it was less than a foot from us and déjà vu was back! The damn thing nearly hit the side of the boat! Several times afterwards we caught a glimpse of the fish in the water and it was definitely large. I’m sure the battle lasted around fifteen minutes before I got it in the net. I don’t think either of them could believe the size of this thing, laying there. The fight may have been over but the hard part was just about to begin. We now had to hoist it aboard for some pics and this definitely wouldn’t be easy. I required the help of Jim to lift the net over the side and onto the tarp. This fish was heavy and pissed! It was all Jim could do to hold the tail and not get whacked! He decided right then and there that holding it was out. We would be doing the floor shot once again! His daughter gave him a couple of hands but this fish was so powerful that she could barely do anything to help restrain the monster. Once we were done, I had to lift the front end to release the fish and it was then that I realized the actual weight. Definitely one of the biggest this year! With difficulty, we somehow managed to roll it out of the boat and she was on her way back to the bottom where she began. Jin and Alyssa both agreed unanimously, we were done! We were going to fish for something smaller now with the remaining time we had left. They had to be back at the hotel for check out shortly after noon and we were pressed for time. I packed everything up and headed to a drop shot an area looking for smallies and walleye. With practically no wind and current, the boat was barely moving. Apparently neither were the fish either, as I was marking them but they weren’t eating anything. Jim locked up on a quality smallie but when it went to the air, it also jumped the hook. Time was ticking and I decided to head shallower and try trolling certain areas looking for a few more bites. We did have a couple but one ended in a bite off and the other was a smallie that jumped ant threw the lure as well. We decided to end it before noon and called the day. Despite difficult conditions for the bass & walleye, they were absolutely perfect for the sturgeon. I’m sure that if we had of remained anchored up there would have been others coming aboard. It’s quite understandable however not to want more when you deal with something that large! In the two days, Jim & Alyssa had caught some really great fish. Pretty large ones too! They would be heading back home with great memories of their Canadian fishing trip along with excellent videos and pictures as well. Hopefully I will see them again next year when they plan their father & daughter outing once again!!