James & Rob were with me this morning in an overcast setting. It was like a light mist was in the air, without actually raining. We began the day at 7:30 and headed out not too far from the launch. His wife & children would be joining us a little later and I wanted to stay close bye. For a change there was little to no wind and I knew the drop shot would be the way to go. Unfortunately we were going to have to cast it as no wind means no movement. James was the first to hook up and it was on his first cast too! It’s never good luck to catch a fish on your first cast! He was into a really nice smallie and I hoped there would be plenty more. Rob hooked up not long after and he ended up with a pretty large northern. In the first few hours they picked up many bass & walleye before we got the call. I headed over to the ramp and picked up his wife Christina and his two children, Giulio & Sofia. At only 3 & 5 years of age, James was hoping to get them interested in fishing and I knew he would succeed. I had prepped other rods with drop shots and instructed Christina on what to do and she hooked up on the first drop. Unfortunately she wasn’t ready and lost the fish while trying to reel it in. Almost immediately after she did however land her first walleye and it joined the one taken earlier in the morning, in the tank. Sofia also had a quick encounter with a fish as she was nailed by a bass almost immediately. Unfortunately it raced to the surface and threw the hook as she was trying to reel. I knew it wouldn’t be the last as we were definitely on plenty of fish! Eventually both Giulio & Sofia managed to reel in several fish with a little help from their dad and they had a blast. Christina also landed 5 fish in the short time they were out making this little excursion a success. They all loved fishing for the first time and I don’t think it will be their last! We headed back to the dock and the three of them left the boat as Sofia had a birthday party to attend this afternoon. It’s always a good idea when kids are young to make their trips short and have them leave wanting more! James, Rob & myself headed back out but this time we made a long run to another area where they could do a little casting. I set them up with lures and they proceeded to put a beating on some nice smallies. Ironically the first fish to come aboard was a walleye however and it too went in the livewell for dinner tonight. I’m not sure how many bass were hooked here but there were a pile. Too bad not all of them made it to the net! When the action slowed, I decided to head to some offshore rocks in hopes of keeping the action going. Once again, the fish cooperated and several more bass came aboard, along with another walleye. It’s really strange this year as to where I am catching walleye. I have them in really shallow water as well as considerably deeper areas too. The high water has dispersed them all over the lake! The bass are also spread out all over as well and by moving around, the numbers are always high!

I was about to relocate to a different section of the lake when James nailed another bass on his last cast and this is when it got interesting! While trying to remove the fish from the net, it somehow managed to twist and set a hook into my finger as well. Now we were both pinned to the lure and the rubber net together! I’m usually very careful, but this fish was insane and caught me off guard. I quickly grabbed it with my good hand and had James assist me with the disaster. The lure was so tangled in the net and still attached to both of us that he had to cut some of the net in order to separate everything. We finally got it all worked out and the fish returned to the water so I could concentrate on my hand. I used the cutters to separate the hook from the lure and prepped some heavy line that Rob had from his clippers. He was going to have to do the removal as I pressed down on the hook shank. With one quick snap, it was out! Accidents like this do happen when dealing with small baits and multiple trebles, but hopefully not too often. This hook removal technique is a lot more efficient than the old school one where you pop it completely through. It’s also a lot less painful!

As the day was nearing an end, I decided to run to another section of the lake in hopes of more bass. It had been on fire only a few days earlier, but I wasn’t sure how it would be today with all the boat traffic. Just getting there was a nightmare with cruisers and speed boats going in all directions. You gotta love weekends! As I figured, the waves from all of the boats had stirred up the water and the fish weren’t as cooperative. Although they did catch a few, it wasn’t what I had expected and we left quickly. I had one more stop to make before we returned to the dock and while running there noticed a cruiser being towed by the Coast Guard. Not sure what happened but surely with all this high water, he didn’t hit? The last stop wasn’t easy to fish with all the boat waves and Rob managed the only fish here. He also missed landing another when it went airborne too! We packed it in and headed back to take out. The winds had somehow increased and the run back was a little rough between the boat waves and the big rollers. Not to mention all the boats all along the way! Fortunately the removal was fairly easy and I was out of the water quickly. This day was a great one for everyone, despite the minor incident. The introduction to fishing for James’s family will definitely have them wanting to get back out again. All in all, a pretty good day!