August 19, 2017
Jimmy & his wife Sheila had booked this trip a couple of months back, hoping for some great fishing. A slight weather delay turned today into a half day due to giant east winds and torrential rains earlier in the morning. We finally hooked up about 10:00 and headed out in a misty rain and 2 to 3 footers from the SE. As I got further out, the waves started to diminish and I decided to try a new area to see if I could hook them up on a really big fish. Sturgeon was going to be the targeted species and I was crossing my fingers, hoping for a few bites.
I hadn’t fished here before and had marked some hooks on the bottom that reminded me of what I’m use to seeing. I thought we’d give it a try and see if I was right. With 3 lines in, we waited with high expectations. Eventually one of the lines was bit and I reared back into heaviness! Jimmy was immediately handed the rod and the battle began. As this was a new area and also the first sturgeon of the year, I pulled the other lines and made way for his battle. This creature didn’t jump but instead stayed deep and gave him one heck of a fight. Eventually he managed to bring it close enough for the net and after almost ten minutes, he had his catch. Neither one of them had ever imagined landing anything this big in freshwater and pics were needed for the proof. Back it went afterwards and back we went to try & lock Sheila up with one of her own.
It wasn’t too long after the first one when we were bit again and this time his wife had the pleasure of her own fight. This one did manage to take to the air not once but three times and the leaps were spectacular! Sheila struggled to reel her fish back many times and each time she thought she was winning, it turned and went right back out again. Another 10 minute battle finally ended and I think she was relieved that it was officially in the net. Jimmy held her catch for the pics as it was a little too large for her to comfortably hold on her own. Once again it was released and we went right back at it, looking for bigger!
This time it really didn’t take long for the next bite and Jimmy was tight to what turned out to be the largest one of the day. His fish fought amazingly and several jumps were also made. Each time it re entered the water, it sounded directly to the bottom, screaming line from the reel. This was a real tug of war! It finally was brought to an end when I slid the net under his biggest fish ever. Pics were taken and he texted some of his friends back home in Texas where everything is bigger. Except these fish of course! Another immediate release and we tried for one last fish for Sheila.
We had the lines in for a while and other than some trash fish nibbles, we hadn’t had a touch from any sturgeon. I was beginning to wonder if we should have left after the third fish but then it happened. Another bite and Sheila was with bent rod for her second time. Although this fish was much smaller than her previous one, it still battled her for over five minutes with multiple aerials & long runs. Once in the net, we realized that she would be able to hold it on her own for some great pics. It was quickly released afterwards and we were out of here. I packed everything up and headed for some northerns.
Both Jimmy & Sheila had never caught pike before and I wanted to tick another species off their lists. I set the lines in and began the troll in an area that had been productive recently. With the winds out of the NE blowing a pretty big chop on the water, I wasn’t sure how these fish would react. One of the long lines was finally hit and Sheila landed her first ever northern pike. Soon after Jimmy also had one on much larger but the hooks pulled out on the way to the boat. No worries, as another reel went off soon after and now he also had his first ever northern. A few more were also landed but I wanted to see if I could get them a walleye and with limited time remaining, I headed out of this area hoping for another species.
The winds were terrible for drifting and I was forced to cast for them instead. About 1 minute in we had a double header drop shotting and one more was ticked off the list. They were also keepers and would be accompanying us to the restaurant tonight. I was planning on having the fish as an appetizer and Sheila & Jimmy would be enjoying their catch of the day. Another walleye was also landed a few minutes later before we ended the day.
What had started out looking like a possible cancellation of the day turned out to be a great 6 hour trip. They had battled monsters and landed three species of fish that they had never seen other than on TV or in magazines. This was definitely a trip to remember! To top it all off, they even had some of the freshest fish they had ever eaten and tasted walleye for their first time as well. All in all a pretty good day if you ask me!