Big Fish Day
October 29, 2017
Ed had planned a sturgeon trip with me at the beginning of the year and today was the day. He arrived with his nephew Dan and Dan’s wife Angie, hoping for a few fish to battle. Conditions were good at the start but the winds were expected to switch to the SE around noon and increase. We had to get it done early if we had any chance of catching these dinosaurs!
Once I scouted the area, I set 4 rods out and began the wait. I had marked some activity and was pretty sure we would get bit. Unfortunately the first fish turned out to be a walleye and not what I had expected. Angie reeled it in and I found out later that this was actually her first eye, ever! I reset the line and not long after, we were bit again. This time it was the real deal and Angie got her second shot at her first sturgeon. After a great fight and a spectacular jump, we were officially on the board with a decent fish. We shot several pics and released her catch unharmed.
In the next hour or so we managed a few smaller fish and one other decent one, but I wasn’t marking anything substantial and decided to move. I idled around and found an area that looked good and anchored up for the wait. Immediately after I set the last rod, it got bit and we were on! Good decision to move I guess! Angie had already gotten a few fish but this one seemed much more substantial in size than the others. It gave her quite a fight and even jumped at one point showing us exactly what she had. Five minutes later I was able to slide the net under her best one of the day. She had to sit for these pics as it was much heavier than her previous one. It was immediately torpedoed back after the shots and we reset the rods hoping for a few more.
The action was pretty good for a while with a number of fish being landed but they were mostly small to medium in size. I wanted everyone to experience at least one giant and kept hoping it would happen. Dan had been holding the rod for a while, waiting for a bite, but Eddy brought out a big bag of M & M’s for us to eat. Dan decided to put the rod back in the holder to grab a handful and as soon as he turned, it got bit. Needless to say, he didn’t get any candy! What he did get however was hooked up on a monster when he grabbed the rod. This thing ripped off a bunch of line on the hookset that made me think it might have been accidentally fouled. It was definitely acting weird and had substantial weight! Almost ten minutes passed with Dan fighting the fish before we realized it was hooked in the mouth. He had brought it up to the surface for a jump and a visual was made before it bolted right back to the bottom, sulking. Another five minutes went by before I was actually able to net his trophy and he was glad the fight was finally over. Many muscles were relieved as well! Dan had to assume the sit down position for this one as he rested it on his lap. Shortly after, he released her back unharmed to fight another day.
We set all the lines back in and in the next hour or so saw a number of fish boated. Some were big and some were small but none the size of Dan’s monster earlier. The winds had also gotten pretty bad by now and I needed a sock just to keep the boat straight. Rods were held for the bites as the boat was bouncing way too much for any visual takes. I decided to give it until 1:30 before we would call it on the sturgeon and switch species. I was still marking them at 1:30 and waited a couple more minutes and was glad I had. Dan received a bite and reared back into another heavyweight! He passed the rod off to Ed and let him battle the last & ironically, biggest fish of the day.
I knew the fight would be lasting a while and decided to pack up a few things while Ed got beat up. His fish took over 100 feet of line on the first run and thoughts of chasing it down crossed my mind. Again, I thought it might have been accidently fouled as it was acting really weird. It was just dead weight and Ed struggled to bring it back. It even came to the top of the water and swam away like a shark. It was like trying to reel in a board in current. It just planed off to the side making the fight that much more difficult. Once Ed finally got it to the boat, the beast went back down and fought even longer. This fight lasted close to 20 minutes before I was able to net it and once it was in the net, I knew why. It was an absolute beast and probably the largest for me this season. The fun was just about to begin!
I had rested the fish in the net, as well as Ed, before the pics. When I finally hoisted it aboard and onto the tarp, they all saw its mass. Dan actually helped Ed to pick the thing up for some pics and it was all Ed could do just to remain seated for the shots. The re entry afterwards was spectacular as it swam off and into the depths unharmed. What a way to end this fishing! If this happens to be the last time that I fish for them this season, it won’t matter. It will be a great way to end the sturgeon year!
After everything was put away we headed somewhere to try fishing for bass & walleye. I knew it wouldn’t be easy with these cross winds but figured we’d give it a try regardless. Dan’s first cast locked him up on a nice smallie and the anchor mode on the electric motor made everything easy for me to attend to. Ed & Angie both missed fish that I’m pretty sure were walleye too. The bites were light and didn’t stayed pinned for long! I moved again and in the next spot, the same thing happened. Ed did manage to catch one walleye however that made it into the well for Dan to bring home. I didn’t stay long here either as the winds were just insane. I decided to switch it up and go to a troll.
As I began to work a break, the three of them with rod in hand trolled behind. Ed was the first one to hook up and unfortunately it measured 22 inches and had to be returned. He missed a couple of others soon after that didn’t stay pinned as well. Eventually Dan locked up on one but once at the boat, we realized it was also an over and would be returned after a pic or two. We trolled a little longer but boat control along this break wasn’t easy and by 4:00 we called it a day. The run back was going to be interesting anyway and taking out would surely be a challenge in a SE wind.
I was definitely right about the run back as the waves were at a 45 degree angle and got bigger the closer we got to the launch. The ramp was also hell with huge waves crashing against the shore and no docks to tie off to. These idiots had removed them three weeks ago for absolutely no reason! I had to swing into the sailboat marina behind a break wall just to go and get the trailer. I let everyone out on shore afterwards and loaded the boat with water rolling over the back deck. It didn’t take me long to pull out and I was just glad it was all over without incident. In fact, the whole day went without any problems. Ed had driven a long way with family to finally catch sturgeon and they definitely did that. They even managed to get into a few smaller fish afterwards as a bonus when the sturgeon fishing became un doable. Before Ed pulled out, he made a point of booking the following year on the same weekend for these dinosaurs again. They all had a great time and experienced some of the best fishing for these prehistoric animals. Who could ask for anything more!