September 10, 2009
Norm was back from a two week vacation down south, fishing permit & tarpon and wanted to get back out for those feisty smallies once more. We rolled out shortly after 7:00 A.M. and were fishing soon after with his faithful companion, Buddha. The run up the lake was a little snotty with the N/E winds blowing near 10 knots contrary to the S winds that were forecasted. Gotta love the weatherman! The air temps were in the upper 50’s and expected to reach almost 80 degrees by the end of the day, with only sunshine. We began in a shallow area in hopes of locating an aggressive school of bass and threw top water & blades to try and find them. It didn’t take long before we had a take on the spook and it was spectacular! A three pounder had fallen victim to the lure and it was great to see the strike. A couple more bass didn’t feel the same as they exploded on the bait once again, but this time they just seemed to hit it with their backs and tails instead. A sure sign of a lack of activity! Norm finally managed to get a beauty of his own on the spinnerbait after watching the show and was relieved to feel their power once again. Pound for pound the strongest swimming freshwater fish alive, in my books! When I realized the nature of most of these fish I immediately switched up to tubes and senkos to try and get a few more biters. Well it worked because they were active enough to pick up these baits and many more smallies put on spectacular shows in the next couple of hours. When we had seen enough of the shallows, I opted for a deeper bite and headed to open water in hopes of getting some larger fish. Almost immediately, Norm was locked up! This time however, it was a 4 pound walleye and immediately released. We wanted the bass and weren’t going to stop until we found them. I drifted and dragged in the depths picking a fish here and there but not really any concentration was found. Somewhere around mid day we decided to give the shallows another try and apparently it was the right decision. In the next couple of hours, Norm just hammered the bass and most were in the 4 pound range. The slow presentation of the senko really paid off as he was crushing them! Several of the mid size ones came on tubes, but the larger ones only seemed to want the subtle fall of the senko. Eventually we headed back out to the depths again and tried drifting for bass with better results this time around. In one area, we managed to land a pile of 2 to 3 pounders and even a few that were over 4. Then it happened! Norm snagged bottom and was trying to free the jig when bottom began to move. I knew right away that he was into a sturgeon and this was going to be a long battle. After a lengthy dog & pony show we finally caught a glimpse of this beast and it looked more like a shark by its mass. I grabbed a glove, leaned over to tail it and nearly got yanked into the lake when I went too far. These things are just so powerful that when it kicked it was heading straight to the bottom, with or without me. I held the railing and lifted the beast into the boat in awe of its size and Norm couldn’t stop laughing. I had him hold it for a few pics and then we weighed it for r fun. It showed just above the 30 pound line on the boga and we released her back to the depths afterwards. What could top this for the day? I soon found out as not long after I was stuck on the bottom just like Norm and mine also began to move. This time the battle lasted nearly 15 minutes and it took us out to over 40 feet of water before we were able to get the beast to the top for a look. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that it was actually larger than the last one and then it sounded to the bottom once again. It’s tough to land these things when they’re hooked on 10 pound test! Eventually after drifting forever, Norm grabbed the tail and the same thing almost happened to him. It damn near pulled him into the lake too! We wasted no time shooting a few pics and threw her back immediately. What a magnificent creature! We were both afraid to drop our jigs back down so we relocated to another area for our last spot. Here we both managed to get into several more bass in the shallower water and then just called it a day. This one was definitely full of surprises and one we will remember for quite some time. Back from the saltwater, Norm lands a freshwater shark and so do I. How great is that!!