Gaining Bragging Rights
September 3, 2016
Eric and his son, Nathan as well as his father in law Bill were with me today looking for some sturgeon. The conditions were perfect to be able to hook them up! We had no problem with the anchor holding with barely a ripple on the water and were set up quickly. With three lines in we waited anxiously for a bite. The first fish of the day felt rather small so I passed the rod to Nathan. At only 11 years old I wasn’t sure if he would be able to land a sturgeon and I knew this was something else. In the end, he managed to bring a nice smallmouth aboard and although a little disappointed, still happy to have landed the bass. We resumed our fishing after several photos and Bill was the next one to get the rod. He was locked up on a definite sturgeon this time and it was a screamer. It peeled off so much line that I wondered if he would be able to get it back. It turned out to be a long battle and after about ten minutes of fighting this thing, we were able to bring it to net. I told him it was a good starter fish and wanted bigger! We were immediately back at it after some pics and although it was a while longer before the next bite, it was well worth the wait. I reared back on one of the rods and thought it was a catfish by the way it was acting, I handed the rod to Nathan once again. Although it felt big, I was sure he could handle this one and instructed him on what to do. Well, a couple of minutes into the fight we got the surprise of our lives when while pumping the fish up, it torpedoed out of the water. Not only wasn’t it a cat, but it was a good sturgeon too! This little guy was about to land the largest fish of his life. He fought the sturgeon like a champ and I think it was mostly adrenaline taking over that allowed him to do it. It wasn’t really a long battle, but it was still close to 10 minutes and definitely long enough for someone this young. He was thrilled and exhausted when I finally netted his fish and glad the fight was finally over. I would have loved for him to be able to hold this thing alone for the pics, but there was no way he was going to be able to lift it. This fish was about half his body weight, so his dad gave him a hand as we shot multiple pictures. Back it went right after and back we went as well. I know the little guy will be talking about his fish for quite some time and bragging rights will keep it in the conversation with his family too. We resumed fishing and I really wanted Eric to battle one of these monsters next. By now we were really late in the morning and there was a lot of boat traffic all over the water. This caused us to switch from the rod holders to holding them instead. Everyone knew what to do and out of nowhere, Bill started reeling and was locked up! I cleared everything out of his way and he generously offered the rod to his son in law to fight. Eric now had a chance at battling his first sturgeon and felt the power they delivered. The fight was quite spectacular and so was the first jump. I always love it when they take to the air as it gives you a good idea of just how big they really are. This one was large! All I know is that the fight lasted about ten minutes and when it was over, Eric felt it in his arms. Mostly the rod holding arm of course as this is what takes most of the beating. It was a great fish and worthy of many pics before being returned to fight another day. The afternoon saw us bouncing around a lot both from the traffic waves and relocating to new spots. Almost each time we moved, we got bit pretty quickly. If we didn’t have to constantly re bait the hooks due to the goby minnows, I’m sure we would have caught many more fish! We had a couple of disappointments while Eric was battling big fish when the hooks pulled out and left him with an empty line. Bill managed to get into another one and although smaller than the usual ones, it was lean and mean. In fact, this fish fought harder and longer than any of the others we had throughout the day. Nathan got to fight and land what I thought might have been a catfish but turned out to be an Eel. I hate snakes so we did a boat side release with just a water shot. After a few more moves, I got a good bite immediately after the lines were in and reared back on a big fish. I told Nathan it was a small one and handed him the rod once again. This time he had practice and fought it even better than his first one earlier in the day. Everyone was in awe as his sturgeon took to the air and proceeded to scream line from the reel. He hung on for dear life and muscled the fish in only to have it take everything back out from him again. This fight would have been tough for an adult and this little guy was putting on a clinic! He may have been hurting all over but he wasn’t going to give up! He was bound and determined to land this fish by himself. When I was finally able to net it he practically dropped from exhaustion. Saying he was glad the battle was over was the understatement of the day! Not only had he battled a giant, but this fish weighed almost as much as he did. His father took most of the weight for the pictures but the prize was definitely all his! He now had what may have been the largest sturgeon of the day and something to brag about at school and amongst his family too. We regained our composure, reset the lines and tried for one more bite before we had to leave. As luck would have it, Eric did get bit but it turned out to be a drum or sheep head and we called it a day. I don’t think any of them had anticipated how this day would go and were 100% satisfied at the outcome. We headed back and they relived all the memories that occurred throughout the day. They will be doing that for quite some time now as they have plenty of pics and video to show everyone they know. Great day with great people and one very happy kid! I hope to see all of them again, someday soon!!