More Personal Bests
June 24, 2013
St-Jean Baptist day on the lake and I expected it to be a zoo out there! We even had to find another place to launch as the usual ramp was closed for the day with festivities scheduled. I picked them up at their Hotel shortly after 7:00 and they were pumped. After yesterday’s banner day on the water, they were excited for what today would hold. I decided to go directly for smallies as this was the last species for them to get a personal best. Being from Maryland, the smallmouth is pretty scarce. Although they exist, they tend to be on the smaller side. Norbert had caught a bunch before but less than two pounds was the largest he had taken. Nick had never landed one and looked forward to catching his first. The winds were blowing pretty good this morning and were scheduled to gust to almost 30 knots by afternoon, so I took advantage of this situation early. They were only 10 to 15 from the west presently and definitely doable where I was headed. I set them both up with a crankbait and instructed them on how to fish it, with emphasis on the tiny hooks. No hooksets and sweep sideways was the theory but broken when the first few fish hit. Nick managed to lose two or three before he settled down and listened to the original instructions. Tiny hooks and strong bass tend to cause a lot of lost fish when too much pressure is applied. Along with raised hooksets, there were plenty of ways to mess it up! When they finally caught on, an instant double was their reward. Obviously there were a lot of fish here as Nick had lost two others on the same cast before hooking up! Although 3 pounds was the biggest so far, I expected better fish to come. A couple of quick pics and back to the task at hand! I think they lost more fish than they landed but were happy with the ones they did get to the net nonetheless. In the end, 3.5 pounds proved to be the largest and I went searching for bigger and better nearby. It was difficult to locate the ones I was searching for and after multiple area changes; 3.5 pounds still remained the best. By now the winds had kicked up pretty good and I knew I could get a good trolling bite happening if they wanted. They quickly accepted the challenge and we were off to another area a few miles away. I wasn’t sure what these fish were doing but knew I would find out soon! Within an hour I had figured them out and was now into a pattern that was working just fine. Big fish were coming aboard regularly and both pike & walleye were the mix. Although Nick was big fish winner for yesterday, it turned full circle today. Norbert managed to land a 6.25 pound walleye and a 7 pound northern to add to the 3.5 pound smallie earlier in the day. He had slammed beautifully! We stuck it out till 4:30 when the final reel screamed and Nick put another 5 pound walleye in the net. Now that’s the way to end the day! I had said that we would pull the plug at 4:30 and right on cue, the fish struck the lure. They definitely finished with a bang and had a great two days just catching all kinds of quality fish. They had memories, pictures and even some walleye fillets to go home with. Something tells me that this isn’t the last time I’ll see them. Talk of next year is already being tossed around and there may be a few more bodies tagging along too. A great two days of fishing and loads of personal bests!!